Diagnosis and Management of Foodborne Illnesses: A Primer for Physicians and Other Healthcare Professionals [open pdf - 486KB]
"This primer is directed to primary care and emergency physicians, who are likely to see the index case of a potential food-related disease outbreak. It is also a teaching tool to update physicians and other health care professionals about foodborne illness and remind them of their important role in recognizing suspicious symptoms, disease clusters, and etiologic agents, and reporting cases of foodborne illness to public health authorities. Specifically, this guide urges physicians and other health care professionals to  Recognize the potential for a foodborne etiology in a patient's illness;  Realize that many but not all cases of foodborne illness have gastrointestinal tract symptoms;  Obtain stool cultures in appropriate settings, and recognize that testing for some specific pathogens, eg, 'E. coli' O157:H7, 'Vibrio' spp., must be requested;  Report suspect cases to appropriate public health officials;  Talk with patients about ways to prevent food-related diseases; and  Appreciate that any patient with foodborne illness may represent the sentinel case of a more widespread outbreak. Foodborne illness is considered to be any illness that is related to food ingestion; gastrointestinal tract symptoms are the most common clinical manifestations of foodborne illnesses. This document provides detailed summary tables and charts, references, and resources for health care professionals. Patient scenarios and clinical vignettes are included for self-evaluation and to reinforce information presented in this primer."
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: http://www.cdc.gov/
Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, Recommendations and Reports (April 16, 2004), v.53 no.RR-4