The Minnesota Model (MN Model) - One Health Commission

The Minnesota Model (MN Model)

The Minnesota Model (MN Model)


Food Illness Surveillance and Response Cutting Across Traditional





The Minnesota Model (MN Model) for foodborne illness and disease

surveillance evolved from a system in which Departments of Public Health and

Agriculture were housed in separate locations with no centralized food illness

reporting system. Now, the departments are connected in a joint facility that

includes a diagnostic laboratory and a centralized reporting system that feeds

into a cross-agency team. The surveillance system includes mandated isolate

submission, centralized disease reporting, trained and experienced leadership,

case interview capacity, a complaint hotline, and FoodNet/PulseNet resources.

When an outbreak occurs, the MN Model includes immediate interviewing of

cases during evenings and weekends, detailed questionnaires, dynamic cluster

investigations, ingredient specific analysis, and supply chain traceback. A

collaborative program between the Minnesota Department of Health and the

University of Minnesota provides graduate student paraprofessionals to perform

evening and weekend case interviews.




The MN Model cuts across disciplines, agencies, and traditional government/university

boundaries to prevent and respond more efficiently to outbreaks of

foodborne illness.


Scope Local - State of Minnesota, USA, although the MN Model often collaborates to

solve regional and nation-wide outbreaks.


Primary Funders


Annual state funding and federal funding through the FoodNet program.


Participants & Key Collaborators


Minnesota Department of Public Health, Minnesota Department of

Agriculture, Minnesota Governor's Office, University of Minnesota.


Definition of One Health


None. Key founders of the MN Model recognized that to be more effective in

combating foodborne disease, multiple government agencies and outside

collaborators would need to work together.


Monitoring & Evaluation Strategy


The system for foodborne illness surveillance has achieved a major

transformation from earlier systems. Because much of this change was designed

to address practical business needs, it has largely been institutionalized. No

formal system is in place to address the continuing process of development for

the MN Model, but the success of the current system is monitored in terms of

successful disease detection and response.


Sources of Information


Interviews with:

-Gene Hugoson, Former commissioner of Agriculture

-Craig Hedberg, Professor of Environmental Health, University of Minnesota

-Michael Osterholm, Director of Center for Infectious Disease Research and


Contact Kirk Smith

Minnesota Department of Health


Craig Hedberg

University of Minnesota

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