Problem Solving Project!

By: Kaitlyn, Caitlyn, Alexis

What's the problem?

The CDC has hired us to investigate upon the outbreak of a food borne illnesses at a HOSA conference for high school students.

What are the assumptions we've made?

We agreed that the food borne illness must be a common one considering that were in the United States and not a foreign country. Considering that high school students are still children they'll go for the foods and snacks they've eaten before, and the food being served is most likely eaten on a weekly or monthly basis. This in turn takes away any chance of the illness being uncommon, and rare in the United States.

What is our hypothesis on the problem?

We have agreed that the food borne illness could be one of these from our list below, because of the common foods someone can contract the illness from.


Listeria- A bacterium that infects humans and warm blooded animals through food contaminated with it. (Raw unclean vegetables)

Ecoli- A bacterium strain that can cause severe food poisoning especially in children. (unpasteurized milk)

Norovirus- A single stranded RNA virus which can cause acute gastroenteritis in humans. (Food contaminated with fecal matter)

Salmonella- A bacterium that causes an infection and eventually severe food poisoning. (Meats processed incorrectly and not cleaned before released to the public from the packaging facilities)

Conclusion... What illness do we believe it is?

We have decided that the top two illness being spread among these high school students who attended the HOSA conference is salmonella and Listeria considering that lots of snack foods would be provided such as vegetable and meat trays. The vegetables in the tray could've mixed the rinsing off step (listeria) and the lunch meats in the tray could've been packaged in an unsanitary packaging facility where the bacteria that causes the illness is present.(salmonella) Norovirus is unlikely considering the foods provided were not exposed to fecal matter. We took out Ecoli considering milk was probably not provided because of allergies to lactose.