Event modeling

What We Do

The goal of the Event Modeling theme is to develop dynamic, real-world models of food systems, contamination events, and public health responses. These models rapidly identify sources of contamination, food distribution points, and possible outbreak locations, and can also demonstrate interventions and responses using novel communication systems and actual data from food distribution, food consumption, and epidemiologic studies.

How We Work

The Food Protection and Defense Institute researchers integrate data on the function of the supply chain from the private sector, data on consumer behavior from surveys, and data on the regulatory response, public health response, and medical countermeasures. We use this data to build computer models of potential food system disruptions or contamination events. The goal of this work is to develop realistic models of food system events and their cascading impacts for understanding consequences, conducting vulnerability and risk assessments, decision support, and analyzing potential preparedness, response, and recovery strategies.

Our Capabilities

The models range from macro-system models to specific contamination scenarios to generalized models of public health responses for point-of-care decision making. The models are transitioned to various stakeholder end users, who can then take specific steps to address critical questions to more effectively protect the food system.


We have in-house experts and a network of global collaborators that build and execute a range of models to understand disruptions in the food system and cascading effects. The Institute's consortium of experts include modeling expertise for food systems vulnerability, transportation and distribution, contamination, and public health response. 

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Food Protection and Defense Institute

University of Minnesota
1365 Gortner Ave.
St. Paul, MN 55108 

[email protected]