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Obama Administration’s tips for food satety

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The Obama Administration recently released a progress report on efforts to protect consumers from foodborne illness.

The report at FoodSafety.gov highlights the accomplishments and strategies of the president’s Food Safety Working Group (FSWG) combined with useful information for consumers on safe food handling.

Using a three dimensional approach of prevention, surveillance and response, the FSWG has provided for increased coordination and collaboration between the federal agencies responsible for food safety enforcement. FSWG member departments and agencies share information and experience about all aspects of food safety which strengthens the scientific and technical infrastructure to support a modern food safety system.

By clarifying responsibilities and improving accountability, the FSWG reportedly made great strides to strengthen the nation’s food safety system. For instance, the FDA implemented the Egg Safety Rule in 2010, which is expected to prevent 79,000 illnesses associated with eating raw or undercooked eggs and save $1 billion each year.

The report also highlights the national Centers for Disease Control’s most comprehensive estimates of foodborne illness since 1999.

CDC provided another important piece to the interagency group’s efforts by making sure that policies aimed at reducing infections work. Its June Vital Signs report pointed to success in reducing E. coli by almost half. Moving forward, CDC’s seven FoodCORE sites are aggressively conducting outbreak investigations in partnership with public health laboratories and environmental health specialists.

The FSWG report also chronicles efforts made over the three years by USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) to safeguard the food supply and provide consumers with clear information about the foods they purchase. FSIS set new standards for poultry establishments which may prevent as many as 25,000 foodborne illnesses annually. Further, the Department announced a zero tolerance policy for six additional strains of Shiga toxin-producing E. coli (STEC) which will launch in 2012 and a new “test and hold” policy that requires facilities to hold product until microbiological testing can determine it is safe to release into commerce.

The FSWG’s accomplishments to date represent efforts toward a stronger food safety system that will deliver greater value, better prevent illnesses, and more effectively promote the well-being of the American people.

The FSWG also focused on consumer education by creating a centralized information source at FoodSafety.gov. The site offers information on ways to prevent foodborne illness, current food recalls, and how to keep food safe, especially around the holidays.

The FSWG report released also chronicles efforts made over the three years by USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) to safeguard the food supply and provide consumers with clear information about the foods they purchase. FSIS set new standards for poultry establishments which may prevent as many as 25,000 foodborne illnesses annually. Further, the Department announced a zero tolerance policy for six additional strains of Shiga toxin-producing E. coli (STEC) which will launch in 2012 and a new “test and hold” policy that requires facilities to hold product until microbiological testing can determine it is safe to release into commerce.

The FSWG’s accomplishments to date represent efforts toward a stronger food safety system that will deliver greater value, better prevent illnesses, and more effectively promote the well-being of the American people.

Find more information on how to keep food safe at FoodSafety.gov

Updated 3:05 am, July 10, 2018
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