Distribution of Outbreak/Food Recall Bulletin


Category: Control of Infectious Diseases
Subject: Distribution of Outbreak/Food Recall Bulletin
Division: Health Protection
Policy Number: CA.82.01.105
Effective Date: October 1, 2015


It is the policy of Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health (WDGPH) to notify hospitals, long-term care homes, retirement homes, community partners, and internal partners (MOH, Control of Infectious Diseases (CID) team, Manager on-call, and Health Protection Managers) of respiratory and enteric outbreaks occurring in a facility or in the community through the distribution of the outbreak bulletin. Outbreak bulletins will be updated upon notification of a new outbreak, when an organism is confirmed, or when there are changes to an outbreak status.

Outbreak bulletins may be used to alert facilities and/or community partners to a food recall


This policy applies to all employees on the CID team, including Managers, Supervisors, Public Health Nurses, and Public Health Inspectors.


Food Recall (Class 1) – Part of the recall classification designation by Health Canada; Class 1 indicated a situation in which there is a reasonable probability that the use of, or exposure to, a violative product will cause serious adverse health consequences or death.


Corresponding Procedure:  CA.82.02.105 Distribution of Outbreak Bulletin


Manager, Control of Infectious Diseases and Tuberculosis


Director, Health Protection 


Category: Control of Infectious Diseases
Subject: Distribution of Outbreak/Food Recall Bulletin
Division: Health Protection
Procedure Number: CA.82.02.105
Effective Date: October 1, 2015


1. In accordance with CA.82.01.104 Reportable Disease Follow-up Outbreak Control, when an outbreak of an infectious disease of public health importance is declared during the work week (Monday to Friday), the Control of Infectious Diseases (CID) employees must notify the CID Program Assistant (PA) before 4:00 p.m. the same day so that an outbreak bulletin can be issued.

2. Outbreak bulletins are intended to inform community organizations of active outbreaks so that admissions and transfers to long-term care and retirement homes can be managed.

3. The CID PA will be responsible for updating and distributing the outbreak bulletin during normal business hours.

4. When an outbreak is declared, the CID employees should send the following information to the  CID PA:

  • Outbreak number;
  • Name and address of facility;
  • Type of outbreak (e.g. respiratory or enteric);
  • Date outbreak declared;
  • Affected area/location of outbreak in the facility if known (e.g. 3rd floor); and
  • Organism, if identified.

5. The CID employee should update the CID PA with any new information on the outbreak including:

  • Confirmed etiological agent identified;
  • If affected area(s) has changed (e.g., more units in outbreak, fewer units in outbreak); and
  • Date declared over.

6. Food recall information/alerts and large community-wide outbreaks may be added to the outbreak bulletin only after discussion and approval by the Medical Officer of Health, Program Manager or Supervisor.

7. The outbreak bulletin must be sent out before 4:00 p.m. on a business day.

8. The CID PA will update and maintain an email distribution list for the outbreak bulletin. The bulletin will also be posted on CID SharePoint. On Fridays, the most up-to-date bulletin will be emailed to the Manager, Public Health Nurse, and Public Health Inspector on-call.

9. The Manager will delegate a CID employee to create an outbreak bulletin when the PA is off/away.

10. A copy of the outbreak bulletin will be attached to the facility file on the outbreak in Excelicare:  when the outbreak is declared; when an organism is identified; and when the outbreak status changes (e.g., extension or declared over).


Management will:

  • Ensure employees are aware of the procedures for outbreak bulletin distribution during the work day and after hours.

Employees will:

  • Be familiar with this policy; and
  • Will ensure the PA or designate receives information needed for the outbreak bulletin before 4:00 p.m. daily as needed.


Corresponding Policy CA.8201.105 Distribution of Outbreak Bulletin
CA.50.01.101 and CA.50.02.101 Documentation Practices
CA.58.01.100 and CA.58.02.100 Privacy Governance
CA.82.01.104 Reportable Disease Follow-up Outbreak Control,
Infectious Disease Protocol, as current (Ontario Public Health Standards)


Manager, Control of Infectious Diseases


Director, Health Protection