InFORM 2017 Conference

​InFORM 2017 Conference
November 6-9, 2017
Garden Grove, CA

The InFORM 2017 Conference, a combined meeting of PulseNet, OutbreakNet and Environmental Health Specialists, was held November 6-9, 2017 at the Hyatt Regency Orange County hotel in Garden Grove, CA. The meeting drew over 640 laboratorians, epidemiologists and environmental health professionals from the United States and 9 other countries. Participants represented federal, state and local public health, food and environmental regulatory agencies.


Slide Presentations Content

The following hyperlinked presentations have been authorized for sharing via this website. Please cite presentation authors and the InFORM 2017 Conference when using these materials.

Monday, November 6, 2017

Open Sessions

SEDRIC Basic Training with NEW Line List Editor
Moderators: Lindsay Bottichio and Rashida Hassan (CDC)
PulseNet Data Analysis Using BioNumerics and NCBI’s Pathogen Detection Pipeline
Moderators: Molley Leeper and Beth Toler (CDC)
Speakers: Lavin Joseph and Azizat Adedrian (CDC)

Working with the Media and Your Public Information Officer (Part 1)
Moderators: Brittany Behm (CDC), Natasha Dowell (CDC), Siobhan DeLancey (FDA), Michelle Catlin (USDA-FSIS)

Best Practices for Communicating with Companies Involved in Outbreaks (Part 2)
Moderators: Laura Whitlock (CDC), Siobhan DeLancey (FDA), David Goldman (USDA-FSIS)

What’s New with NORS
Moderators: Aron Hall, Sam Crowe and Katie Fullerton (CDC)

Capacity Building in Action
Moderators: Gwen Biggerstaff (CDC), Dale Morse (CDC), Brett Weed (FDA)
Speakers: Anna Newton (CDC), Elizabeth Sillence (CDC), Travis Goodman (FDA), Tracey Vaughn, Katie Garman, Martin Wiedmann
   (Cornell University), Mackenzie Tewell (AZ)

SEDRIC Advanced Training with Whole Genome Sequence Trees
Moderators: Lindsay Bottichio and Rashida Hassan (CDC)

WGS Wet Lab Troubleshooting
Moderators: Ashley Sabol (CDC), Daniel Schoeffner (Illumina), Eija Trees (CDC)

Learn More About PFGE Before It’s Too Late!
Moderators: Lavin Joseph and Molly Freeman (CDC)

Food Code for Non-Environmental Health Professionals
Moderators: Larry Ramdin (Salem, MA), Michele DiMaggio (Contra Costa County, CA), Richard Ramirez (FDA)

Environmental Health Specialists Network (EHS-Net): Contributions to Foodborne Illness Outbreak Investigations and Prevention
Moderators: Laura Brown (CDC)
Speakers: Lauren DiPrete (Southern Nevada HD), David Nicholas (NY), D.J. Irving (TN), Joyce Tuttle (CA), Daniel O’Halloran (NYC)

Outbreak Investigation from Detection to Action: The USDA-FSIS Perspective
Moderators: Doug Noveroske and William Lanier (USDA-FSIS)
Speakers: Bonnie Kissler, Mark Crowe, Louis Tate, Stephanie Defibaugh-Chavez, Chau Vu and Melanie Abley (USDA-FSIS)

Welcome Session and Keynote Address

Moderator: Matthew Zahn, Medical Director, Epidemiology, Orange County Health Care Agency
- Brenda Fitzgerald, MD, Director, Centers for Diseases Control and Prevention
- Carmen Rottenberg, JD, Deputy Under Secretary for Food Safety (Acting), U.S. Department of Agriculture
- Stephen Ostroff, MD, Deputy Commissioner for Foods and Veterinary Medicine, U.S. Food and Drug Administration

Keynote - Mega Trends in Food Safety
 Frank Yiannas, MPH, Vice President, Food Safety & Health, Walmart Stores, Inc.

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Sunrise Sessions

CIFOR Needs Your Feedback
Moderators: Kirk Smith (MN), Don Sharp (CDC)

Information Sharing Between FDA and State, Local, Tribal and Territorial Officials: Commissioning and 20.88 Agreements
Moderator: Travis Goodman (FDA
Speakers: Patrick Clouser and Lauren DiPaola (FDA)

WGS of Non-PulseNet Organisms: Expectations in the Lab, Reporting, etc.
Moderator: Pamela O’Brien (HI)

Integrating Traditional and Next Generation Methods for Salmonella Serotyping
Moderator: Patricia Fields (CDC)

Evaluation of Food and Environmental Samples from Non-Federal Sources: Chain of Custody, Sample Integrity and Other Considerations
Moderator: Bonnie Kissler (USDA-FSIS)
Speakers: Louis Tate (USDA-FSIS), Stephanie Defibaugh-Chavez (USDA-FSIS), Terri McConnell (FDA-ORA), Nellie Dumas (NY)

National Surveillance Updates
Moderators: Karen Wong, Jennifer Hunter, Michael Hughes, Erin Burdette (CDC)

Combined Sessions

Michael Beach, PhD, Deputy Division Director, Division of Foodborne, Waterborne and Environmental Diseases, Centers for
   Disease Control and Prevention

Session I 

Then and Now: The Changing Landscape of Enteric Disease Surveillance Outbreak Detection and Response
Moderators:  Ian Williams (CDC), David Goldman (USDA-FSIS), Michael Beach (CDC)

- The 1998-99 Outbreak of Listeriosis Linked to Ready-to-eat Meats - Rob Tauxe (CDC)
- The Pre-PulseNet Era and the Challenge of Surveillance for Listeria monocytogenes - Brian Sauders (NY)
- Risk Assessments and the Changing Landscape of Foods Linked to Listeriosis Outbreaks - Janell Kause (USDA-FSIS)
- Listeria monocytogenes Outbreak Investigations: FDA Perspective - Stic Harris (FDA)
- Where are We Going from Here? – Rob Tauxe (CDC)

Session II 

Lessons Learned from Shiga Toxin-producing E. coli Outbreak Linked to Flour
Moderators:  Matthew Wise (CDC), Beth Melius (WA)

- Multistate Outbreak of Shiga Toxin-Producing E. coli Infections Associated with Raw Flour, 2015–2016 – Karen Neil (CDC)
- Colorado Investigation - Nerida Corral (CO)
- Multistate Outbreak of E. coli O121 and O26 Associated with Raw Flour: FDA Response Perspective – Brooke Whitney (FDA)
- General Mills Gold Medal Flour Recall: Spring/Summer 2016 - Scott Hood (General Mills)
- Risk Communication: STEC Infections Linked to Flour - Laura Whitlock (CDC)
- Multi-provincial Outbreak Investigation of E. coli O121 Associated with Flour, November 2016 to May 2017 – Lorelee Tschetter

Session III 

Navigating Whole Genome Sequencing and Its Utility in Foodborne Surveillance, Outbreak Detection and Response
Moderators: John Dunn (TN), Heather Carleton (CDC), David Melka (FDA), Cesar Morales (USDA-FSIS)

- The Interagency Collaboration on Genomics for Food and Feed Safety - Chris Braden (CDC)
- The Madness Behind the Method: Whole Genome Sequencing for Cluster Detection - Minnesota, 2017- Carlota Medius (MN)
- Whole Genome Sequencing for Routine Surveillance, Outbreak Detection & Response in NSW, Australia – Kiera Glasgow
   (Health Protection NSW)

- Making of a Whole Genome Sequencing Core - Vishnu Chaturvedi (CA)

Session IV   

Culture-Independent Diagnostic Tests (CIDTs): Changing the Landscape of Surveillance
Moderators: Carlota Medius (MN), Kristy Kubota (APHL)

- CDC Update on Culture Independent Diagnostic Test (CIDT) Issues - Peter Gerner-Smidt (CDC)
- Meeting the Challenge of Changing Diagnostic Testing Practices and the Impact on Public Health Surveillance - Ellyn Marder
- The Implications and Impact of CIDTs at Public Health Laboratories - Dave Boxrud (MN)
- Impact of Culture Independent Diagnostic Tests on Enteric Disease Outbreak Detection and Response: Nebraska, 2015–2017
Anna Carlson (NE)

- CIDT’s and Exclusion - David Young (SC)
- Impact of CIDTs on STEC Exclusions for Childcare in Minnesota - Dana Eikmeier (MN)

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Sunrise Sessions

Partnerships for Food Protection (PFP) Food Emergency Response Resources
Moderators: Priscilla Neves and Travis Goodman (FDA)
Speakers: Priscilla Neves (FDA), Carrie Rigdon (MN Ag), Travis Goodman (FDA)

FDA Coordinated Outbreak Response and Evaluation Network (CORE) Updates and Highlights
Moderators: Jennifer Beal, Susan Lance and Lauren Shade (FDA)
Speakers: Karen Blickenstaff, Kari Irvin, Angela Fields, Diane Gubernot (FDA-CORE)

Current Issues in Antimicrobial Resistance Surveillance and Impact on Outbreak Response
Moderators: Meseret Birhane and Louise Francois Watkins (CDC)

Analytical Tools for WGS: Bioinformatic Pipelines, Cloud Computing and the Dark Arts as Practiced by Your State Public Health Bioinformaticians (STAPH-B)
Moderator: Joel Sevinsky
Speakers: Joel Sevinsky (CO), Dave Boxrud (MN), Kevin Libuit (VA), Kelly Oakeson (UT)

Updates on Efforts for Controlling Listeria monocytogenes (Lm) in Retail Delicatessens
Moderator: Michele DiMaggio (Contra Costa County, CA)
Speakers: Kristin Hold (USDA-FSIS), Larry Ramdin (Salem, MA), John Burnett (Purdue University), Lisa Frias (Orange County, CA)

Concurrent Sessions

The Changing Landscape of Norovirus: From Detection to Surveillance
Moderator: Aron Hall (CDC)
Speakers: Jan Vinje (CDC), Toni Morales (FDA), Amy Saupe (MN)

WGS and Epi Integration Part 1
Moderators: Katie Garman (TN), Kelley Hise (CDC), Eija Trees (CDC)

- Laboratory and Epi Data Integration in SEDRIC - Rashida Hassan (CDC)
- Implementation to Integration: DCLS’s Phased Approach to Sharing Molecular Subtyping Data with Epidemiologists
   – Lauran Turner (VA)
- Salmonella Anatum Infections Associated with Imported Papaya – Colin Schwensohn & Molly Leeper (CDC)
- Salmonella Heidelberg Linked to Contact with Cattle – Lauren Stevenson and Morgan Schroeder (CDC)
- Salmonella Saintpaul Investigation – Beth Tolar (CDC)

Dr. Strangevehicle: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Unsolved Outbreaks
Moderators: Jennfer Beal(CDC), Lyndsay Bottichio (CDC), Zachary McCormic (NH)
Speakers: Lyndsay Bottichio (CDC), Amanda Conrad (CDC), Brooke Whitney, (FDA), Vasuda Reddy (NYC), D’Ann Williams (MD),
   Quyen Phan (CT), Christina Turner (CT)

In the Heat of an Outbreak: Difference Perspectives on Regulatory Communication
Moderators: Karen Becker (USDA-FSIS), Ian Williams (CDC)
Speakers: Aaron Lavallee (USDA-FSIS), Beth Milius (WA), Siobhan DeLancey (FDA)

Linking Environmental and Epidemiological Data on Restaurant-related Norovirus Outbreaks
Moderator: Laura Brown (CDC)
Speakers: Aron Hall, Amy Freeland and Laura Brown (CDC)

WGS and Epi Integration Part 2: Finding a Needle in the Haystack – Using WGS to Identify Clusters with Common PFGE Patterns
Moderators: Katie Garman (TN), Kelley Hise(CDC), Eija Trees (CDC)
Speakers: Lisha Constantine-Renna (TN), Hope Dishman (GA), Katherine Marshall (CDC)

Epidemiological Methods: New and Old Tools to Investigate Foodborne Outbreaks
Moderators: Carlota Medus (MN), Matthew Wise (CDC), Kerri Brown (CO)
Speakers: Leslie Warren (Tri-County, CO), Cindy Burnett (UT), Josh Rounds (MN), Peters Ruestow (Chicago)

One Health Approach to Farm-to-Table: Importance of On-Farm Investigations during Outbreaks
Moderators: Megin Nichols (CDC), Alice Green (USDA-FSIS)
Speakers: Misha Robyn (CDC), Tony Halstead (Hoover Hatchery), Donald Sockett (WI VDL), Jason Lombard (USDA-FSIS)

Developing Collaboration to Enhance Investigations of Antimicrobial Resistance in Food Pathogens of Animal Origin Involved in Outbreaks
Moderators: Nkuchia M’ikanatha (PA), Heather Tate (FDA), Louise Francois Watkins (CDC), Alice Green (USDA-FSIS)
Speakers: Vivian Leung (CT), Samir Hannan (TN), Kelly Kline (PA)

Whole Genome MLST Databases
Moderator: Seven Stroka (CDC)
Speakers: Heather Carleton (CDC), Rebecca Lindsey (CDC), Hannes Pouseele (Applied-Maths)

Retrospective Outbreak Investigations: Leveraging Food and Environmental Data to Protect Public Health
Moderators: Susan Lance (FDA), Ian Williams (CDC)
Speakers: Matthew Wise (CDC), Amanda Conrad (CDC), Jennifer Beal (FDA), Leslie Hintz (FDA)

Late Breaker
Moderators: Michael Jhung (CDC), Justin Henderson (MI)

- Cyclosporiasis in Texas, 2017 – Venessa Cantu (TX)
- Multi-agency Response to Salmonella Enteriditis Linked to Raw Eggs – Lisa Hainstock (MI Ag)
- Campylobacter Outbreak at a Food Festival - Connecticut, 2017 - Jaime Krasnitski (CT)
- Outbreak of E. coli O157:H7 Infections in a Community, Utah and Arizona - June, 2017 – Sara Luna (CDC)
- Novel pattern E. coli O103 Cluster Resulting in a Fatality, Associated with Travel to Mexico - Madhura Sundararajan (IN)
- EPEC/EAEC – What the Heck? - An Outbreak Investigation Using Culture-Independent Diagnostic Testing (CIDT), Connecticut, 2017 – Christina Turner (CT)

Individual Conference Tracks


Transitioning Workflows for PulseNet: Perspectives from the PulseNet Laboratories
Moderators:  Julia Wolfe (COAC), Karim George (KY), Molly Freeman (CDC)

- CDC’s Experience with CLIA Validation of WGS Wet-Lab and Analytical Tools – Rebecca Lindsey (CDC)
- Single-Molecule Real-Time Sequencing Technology (SMRT): Validation and Implementation of Long-Read - Sequencing at the
   Microbial Laboratory of the California Department of Public Health – Rituparna Mukhopadhyay (CA)
- Lessons Learned: Integrating Automated Workflows for PulseNet – Roxy Meek (WA)
- Lessons Learned: Validation of SeqSero and Establishing a WGS Workflow for Salmonella Serotyping - Jisun Haan (MN)

Tracking and Data Management of WGS and CIDTs: Sharing Best Practices
Moderators: Morgan Schroeder (CDC), Jeannette Dill (TN)
- Panelists: Angela Taylor (MN), Ryan Jepson (IA), Bill Wolfgang (NY)

Addressing Quality and Contamination: From the Bench to Analysis
Moderators: Lavin Joseph (CDC), Steve Dietrich (MI)

- Using Bioinformatics Tools to Examine Sequence Quality – Heather Carleton (CDC), Joel Sevinsky (CO)
- Laboratory Mitigation of Sequence Contamination – Lauren Turner (VA)
- WGS CLIA Validation – Karim Morey (OR)

OutbreakNet and Environmental Health

Notes from the Field Part I
Moderators:  Amy Robbins (NY), Justin Henderson (MI)

- Food Source Information: A Food Production Wiki for Public Health Professionals – Elaine Scallan (CO)
- Don’t Have a Cow, Man: Calf-associated Outbreaks of Cryptosporidiosis in New Hampshire – Zachary McCormic (NH)
- Salmonella Javiana Infections Linked to a Restaurant in Maricopa County, Arizona – 2016 – Mackenzie Tewell (AZ)
- Vibrio vulnificus Wound Infections After Handlin Tilapia Purchased from a Live Freshwater Fish Tank – Laurie Stewart (WA)
- A Rapid One Week Response: Salmonella Braenderup in Potato Salad – Melanie Harris (IA)
- Shiga Toxin-producing Escherichia coli 0157:H7 Infections after Attendance at a Cider Festival – Kansas – 2016
     Daniel Neises (KS)

- Outbreak of Listeria monocytogenes Linked to Frozen Vegetables, 2013-2016 – Katherine Marshall (CDC)
- Outbreak of Salmonella Enteritidis Associated with a Restaurant in Kentucky, 2016 – Carrell Rush (KY)

Use of Shopper/Loyalty Card and Other Purchase Data Resources to Assist with Outbreak Investigations
Moderators: Bonnie Kissler (USDA-FSIS), David Nicholson (NY)

- Connecticut’s Once Innovative Approach to Obtaining Shopper Card Data - Christine Applewhite (CT)
- Shopper Cards (or the lack thereof): The Texas Perspective - Greg Leos (TX)
- National Loyalty Card Workgroup Update - Julie Schlegel (NC Ag)

Implementing Statewide Foodborne Illness Complaint Systems: Successes and Challenges
Moderators: Katie Garman (TN), Amy Robbins (NY)
Speakers: Jane Yackley (TN), Danny Ripley (Nashville Metro, TN), Kenny Davis (UT), Daniel Neises (KS)

Friday, November 9, 2017

Individual Conference Tracks


PulseNet USA and International Roadmap: Transitioning to WGS Surveillance and Outbreak Detection
Moderators: Serena Giovinazzi (FL Ag), Aphrodite Douris (USDA-FSIS)

- PulseNet International & USA Steering Committee Updates – Peter Gerner-Smidt (CDC)
- Integration of Regulatory and Clinical Data: An FDA Perspective – Eric Stevens (FDA)
Integration of Regulatory and Clinical Data: An USDA-FSIS Perspective - Cesar Morales (USDA-FSIS)
- Perspectives from a Food Regulatory Laboratory: FL Ag’s Experience with WGS Implementation – Serena Giovinazzi (FL Ag)

State Solutions for Analysis and Reporting: Perspectives the State Public Health Bioinformaticians (Staph-B) Workgroup
Moderators: Joel Sevinsky (CO), Julia Wolfe (CAOC)

- Bioinformatic Analyses of Whole Genome Sequence Data in Public Health Laboratory – Kelly Oakeson (UT)
- Cloud Solutions for State NGS Biominformatics and Storage – Joel Sevinsky (CO)
- NGS Communication between Laboratories and Epidemiologists – Angela J. Taylor (MN)

Current Laboratory-based Strategies in Addressing CIDTs
Moderators: Eija Trees (CDC), Jeannette Dill (TN)

- CIDT Challenges and Changes in Colorado – Emily Travanty (CO)
- CIDT: An Overachieving GI Panel – Jeannette Dill (TN)
- PanGIA: Culture Independent Identification and Characterization of Infectious Agents Directly from Clinical
   and Environmental Sources
– Jonathan Jacobs (MRI Global)

- Development of Sequencing Methods for Direct-from-Specimen Surveillance and Subtyping – Heather Carleton (CDC)

Environmental Health

Environmental Assessments and Root Cause
Moderators: Steve Mendernach (IA), Kristin Holt (USDA-FSIS), Brett Weed (FDA), Vince Radke (CDC)

- Root Cause Analysis & Environmental Assessments - Karin Hoelzer (Pew Charitable Trusts)
- Enhancing Root Cause Analysis Examples, Challenges, and Lessons Learned - Karen Becker (USDA-FSIS)
- NEARS Implementation in Metro-Nashville and Tennessee - Danny Ripley (Metro-Nashville, TN)
- NEARS: Informing Foodborne Illness Outbreak Investigation and Prevention - Laura Brown (CDC)

Demystifying the Lab
Moderators: Michele DiMaggio (Contra Costa County, CA), Carrie Rigdon (MN), Larry Ramdin (Salem, MA)

- Environmental Surface Sampling of Human Norovirus - Jan Vinje (CDC)
- Demystifying the Laboratory - Maria Ishida (NY Ag)
- A Rapid One Week Response: Salmonella Braenderup in Potato Salad - Melanie Harris (IA)


Notes from the Field Part II
Moderators: William Lanier (USDA-FSIS), Thai-An Nguyen (CDC)

- Multistate Outbreak of E. coli 0157:H7 Infections Linked to Soy Nut Butter – United States – 2017 – Rashina Hassan (CDC)
- International Collaboration to Identify an Unusual Source of Illness: Salmonella Chaliley Outbreak Associated with Coconut,
– Marsha Taylor (BC CA)

- Incubation Period for Outbreak-associated, Non-Typhoidal Salmonellasis Cases, Minnesota, 2000-2015 – Dana Eikmeier (MN)
- Application of Whole Genome Sequencing to Support Foodborne Disease Outbreak Detection and Investigations in
– Quyen Phan (CT)
- Shigella Infections with Decreased Susceptibility to Azithromycin and Association with Bacterial Sexually Transmitted
   Infections in 
New York City, 2014-2016 – Katelynn Devinney (NYC)
- Using xTAG® Gastrointestinal Pathogen Panel (GPP) Results in Exclusion of Enteric Disease Cases from High-Risk Settings – 
   Amanda Shoemate (OK)

- Use of a REDCap Database for Management and Tracking of the Tennessee FoodCORE Interview Team’s Contact Attempts
Interview Outcomes – Stephanie Cavallo (TN)
- The Relationship between Food Access and Reported Salmonella and Campylobacter Cases in Pennsylvania: A Spatial 
   Comparison of Urban and Rural Areas
– Erica Smith (Drexel University)

Cluster vs Outbreak
Moderators: Colin Basler (CDC), Colin Schwensohn (CDC), Kerri Brown (CO)

- When a Cluster Becomes an Outbreak - The Multistate Perspective - Matthew Wise (CDC)
- Clusters vs. Outbreaks: The Minimum Height Requirement - Amy Saupe (MN)
- Cluster vs. Outbreak: Examples from Arizona - Mackenzie Tewell (AZ)

Protecting Public Health: Deciding When to Communicate About an Outbreak
Moderator: Laura Whitlock (CDC)
Speakers: Brittany Behm (CDC), Natasha Dowell (CDC), Aaron Lavallee (USDA-FSIS), Siobhan DeLancey (FDA)

Funding for this conference was made possible (in part) by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The views expressed in written conference materials or publications and by speakers and moderators do not necessarily do not reflect the official policies of the Department of Health and Human Services, nor does the mention of trade names, commercial practices, or organizations imply endorsement by the U.S. Government.