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[ISDH]Indiana Wins Guzewich Award for Outstanding Work in Response to Salmonella Outbreak
Start Date: 12/12/2013Start Time: 12:00 AM
End Date: 12/12/2013End Time: 11:59 PM
Entry Description

INDIANAPOLIS—The Indiana State Department of Health and the Kentucky Department of Public Health have been awarded the John J. Guzewich Environmental Public Health Team Award for the combined response to the multi-state Salmonella Outbreak linked to cantaloupes from Chamberlain Farms in 2012.


“We are very proud to receive this prestigious honor,” said State Health Commissioner William VanNess, M.D. “This award highlights the excellent teamwork among the State laboratories, epidemiology division and food protection program. Thanks to the immense amount of coordination internally, as well as with local, state and federal partners, we were able to prevent illness and potentially save lives.”


Using food questionnaires, epidemiologists in Kentucky and Indiana traced the infections to melon consumption. Kentucky determined the melons in question were grown in Indiana, ultimately identifying Chamberlain Farms as a source. Once a source was identified, the Indiana State Department of Health’s food protection program staff visited the farm to investigate the circumstances which promoted the spread of these infections and helped them to take remedial actions. 


The Guzewich Award is a new National Environmental Health Association award named for the former FDA advisor and New York State Health Department investigator. It recognizes and supports the role of local and state health departments in protecting their communities as well as the national food safety system from foodborne illness.


Both states were nominated by the Association of Food and Drug Officials (AFDO) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). According to the nomination, the outbreak was a model for intrastate and interstate collaboration among public health partners at the federal, state and local levels. The award was presented at the Integrated Foodborne Outbreak Response and Management Conference held in San Antonio, Texas.


“We credit our great partners in our sister state of Kentucky that laid the groundwork for the investigation in Indiana,” said Scott Gilliam, director of Food Protection at the Indiana State Department of Health. “Without the close cooperation we experienced with Kentucky, the results may not have been as effective. We have a great team of field investigators that were on scene rapidly and quickly stopped any further distribution of cantaloupes from the farm.”


As a result of the 2012 salmonella outbreak, the Indiana State Department of Health created a new Food Safety Initiative for Indiana Wholesale Produce Farms to assist agricultural operations that grow and distribute food.  Two Food Safety Farm Consultants have been hired to provide education and outreach, technical assistance and environmental assessments to Indiana produce farmers.


For more information, visit Follow the Indiana State Department of Health on Twitter at @StateHealthIN and on Facebook at



Contact Information:
Name: Ken Severson
Phone: 317.233.7104
Entry Type:
Press Release
Entry Category:
  • Announcements
  • Category:
  • Family & Health
  • Agency Name
    Health, Indiana State Department of

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