Epidemiological Assessment Template

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Lead public health authority:

Version Date:

Version Time:

Outbreak number and title:

Note: Interpret and weigh the evidence for each criterion and summarise the supporting evidence below. Where the evidence is outlined and interpreted in the epidemiological summary, there is no need to duplicate it here. Refer the reader to the section of the epidemiological summary where the information can be found.

Brief Epidemiological Summary

A.1 Has a line list been provided to investigative team members including Health Canada (e.g., case ID, case confirmation status, age, sex, onset, food exposure and purchase details)? [] Yes [] No

A.2 Has an epidemiological summary been provided to investigative team members including Health Canada?  [] Yes [] No

A.3  There substantial evidence that cases represent a common source outbreak.  [] Strong [] Moderate [] Weak

Briefly describe the evidence indicating cases represent a common source outbreak:    

Food Under Assessment

B.1 Suspect food:

B.2. Other levels of specificity if applicable/information available (e.g., common product details, purchase location, purchase dates, package type, brand, packager/distributor/manufacturer, lot code/best before date, etc.):

Epidemiological Assessment Criteria and Considerations

C.1 Plausibility:  The food is a plausible vehicle of infection.

[]Strong [] Moderate [] Weak

Provide supporting evidence:  

  • Is the food a known vehicle of infection for the outbreak pathogen? [] Yes [] No
  • Is there literature to indicate that the pathogen been previously identified in the food type? [] Yes [] No

If yes to either of the above two questions, no further explanation is required.

If ‘No’ to both of the above questions, provide any available evidence in support of the food as a plausible vehicle of infection:

C.2 Temporality:  Cases report eating the food within their period of exposure.

[]Strong [] Moderate [] Weak

Provide supporting evidence: 

  • What was the time period used to assess case exposures during interviews?
  • Do any cases only report eating the suspect food outside of this time period? [] Yes [] No

If Yes, please explain.

C.3 Consistency:  The distribution of cases in time and place is consistent with the shelf life and distribution of the food.

[]Strong [] Moderate [] Weak

Provide supporting evidence:

C.4 Consistency:  The food exposure is consistently reported among cases.

[]Strong [] Moderate [] Weak

Provide supporting evidence:

C.5 Strength of association:  A higher than expected proportion of cases report the food exposure.

[]Strong [] Moderate [] Weak

Provide supporting evidence:

  • Has an analytical study been conducted? [] Yes [] No
  • Do data exist that estimate the proportion of the general population who eat the food or similar foods (e.g., Foodbook, FoodNet Canada, FoodNet USA, other)? [] Yes [] No

If ‘Yes’, provide further details.  If ‘No’ provide any available evidence that suggests a higher than expected proportion of cases report the food exposure:

C.6 Consideration of alternate explanations:  Other plausible hypotheses have been adequately ruled out.

[]Strong [] Moderate [] Weak

Provide supporting evidence:

Conclusion

D. Is there strong epidemiological evidence that the [suspect food] is the vehicle of infection for this outbreak? [] Yes [] Additional evidence needed

State any additional conclusions that can be made regarding specific details of the suspect food (e.g., product, purchase locations, purchase time periods, origin of the food):

Briefly highlight any important gaps in the evidence:

E. Additional considerations:

Appendix 2: PHAC-OMD Abbreviated Epidemiological Assessment Template

This template will be used by PHAC-OMD when commenting on the weight of the epidemiological evidence submitted by a provincial/territorial or local public health authority investigating an outbreak.

Outbreak title:

Lead public health authority:

Epi Assessment date and time stamp:

Date of PHAC-OMD comment:

Time of PHAC-OMD comment:

Supporting documentation (and engagement):

  1. Was a line list provided to PHAC-OMD? [] Yes [] No – If yes, provide line list date and time stamp:
  2. Was an epidemiological summary provided to PHAC-OMD? [] Yes [] No – If yes, provide epidemiological summary date and time stamp:

Epidemiological Assessment Conclusions

Is there strong epidemiological evidence that the [suspect food] is the vehicle of infection for this outbreak? [] Yes [] Additional evidence needed

Provide additional comments regarding the weight of the epidemiological evidence to supplement the Epi Assessment submitted by the lead public health authority as needed: