Exercise Benefits / Facts
Minnesota’s Department of Agriculture undertook an effort to conduct and evaluate a foodborne illness exercise entitled “Stealthy Situation”.
This tabletop exercise provided participants with an overview of actions taken at the local, State, Tribal, territorial, and Federal, level when a food-related incident occurs. It focused on the role that key personnel play in containing the problem and protecting consumers. A large amount of information in this exercise was generated from discussions among participants as they go through a hypothetical scenario.
During the exercise, participants assessed plans, policies and procedures, and thought about how they would realistically apply them in the event of an incident. This tabletop exercise helped to facilitate discussion among various participating entities, such as emergency response, State and local entities and the private sector.
The comprehensive exercise scenario includes the epidemiological investigation, traceback and recall identification and implementation, role of regulatory agencies, and other issues associated with a cluster of illness linked to a foodservice establishment. The food product causing illness is a multi-ingredient product containing both USDA- and FDA-regulated components, and the illness is associated with institutional and foodservice settings in different jurisdictions.
At the conclusion of this tabletop exercise, participants will be able to:
- Define their role in interacting with a large, diverse team of professionals who must work together to address a complex and urgent food contamination incident.
- Map the process and flow of a foodborne disease investigation from the initial epidemiologic signals through the traceback and recall phases, with periodic public communication.
- Understand the importance of gathering and cataloging critical information needed when making decisions in rapidly developing situations.
- Coordinate your efforts with other professionals engaged in the investigation.
- Use a collaborative approach to efficiently utilize the skills of each agency and discipline and identify proactive solutions.
- Understand the importance of internal and external communications and dialogue and have ideas about how to improve both in your organization.
The two day Stealthy Situation Exercise was held on May 1 & 2, 2012, in St Paul Minnesota.
This exercise is an example of the kind of exercises that comprise the nationwide Caduceus Shield Exercise Initiative. This initiative provides meaningful exercise opportunities for America’s health system.