Public records laws support the open and free flow of information from the government to its citizens. However, most jurisdictions have recognized the need to maintain the confidentiality of certain information. A state’s ability to protect certain information from disclosure can impact information sharing between state and federal agencies, which can impede an integrated response to a foodborne disease outbreak.
All 50 states and the District of Columbia have public records laws and the vast majority of these laws contain exemptions. State laws vary in the type of exemptions they allow – some may be applicable to intentional foodborne outbreaks while others are only applicable to unintentional outbreaks. However, few exemptions specifically cite food protection information. Read More