The FDA is the primary governing body of the food supply (except meat and poultry).
FSIS is responsible for safety of domestic and imported meat and poultry.NMFS is responsible for safety of seafood and fisheries.The EPA regulates use of pesticides and other chemicals and ensures safety of public drinking water.The FTC regulates truth in advertising and marketing.CDC monitors and investigates food-borne illness.
Many health-conscious Americans rely on food labels in making food choices.
Nutrition information includes:Amount of carbohydrates, proteins, fatsCalories Vitamins, mineralsSodiumCholesterolSaturated fatPercentage of Recommended Dietary Allowance standard per defined portion
Case Study:Ms. Katie is a 35-year-old business woman who is very health conscious and is very meticulous regarding what she eats. She enjoys reading health magazines and includes those on healthy eating.
Food labels would be a point of interest for Ms. Katie. These labels contain food standards and nutrition information.
Example of a food product label showing the detailed Nutrition Facts box of nutrition information mandated by the FDA under the Nutrition Labeling and Education Act.
The FDA provides model claim statements.
Yes, Ms. Katie would be interested in health claims since she is concerned with what she eats and also reads much on health and nutrition.Health claims are strictly regulated by the FDATo make an association between a food product and a specific disease:FDA must approve claimFood must meet criteria set forth for that claimWording on package must be approved
The FSIS designates certain percentages of pesticides that are acceptable and legally permitted in or on food commodities and animal feeds.
Ask students to identify some pesticides that have been found to be harmful to humans or the environment. (DDT)
Many farmers use an organic farming process so that pesticides and other harmful chemicals are not used during the growing process. “Natural,” “hormone free,” and “free range” are not synonymous with “organic.”
Official USDA organic seal, available at www.ams.usda.gov/AMSv1.0/nop.
Genetic modification has been used for thousands of years.More than 60% of processed foods contain some genetically modified ingredients.
“Food additive” is defined by the FDA as any substance used to provide a technical effect in foods. The use of food additives has become more prominent in recent years because of the increased production of prepared, processed, and fast foods.
In relation to pesticides:Goal is to feed a growing populationPesticides improve crop yieldsExample: Chemicals destroy many destructive insectsProblems:Pesticide residue on foodGradual leaching of chemicals into ground water and wellsOrganic farmingGrow foods without synthetic pesticides, fertilizers, sewage sludge, bioengineering, or ionizing radiationRaise animals and produce dairy products without antibiotics or growth hormonesNatural pesticides may be usedGenetic modificationReduces the need for toxic pesticides and herbicidesExample: Genetically modified corn that expresses a protein that acts as an insecticideIrradiationKills bacteria and parasites on food after harvestPrevents food-borne illnessCan increase shelf life of produceFoods that are irradiated:Have unaltered nutritional valueAre not radioactiveHave no harmful substances introduced as a result of irradiationMay taste slightly different
What are the most common infections in home and community outbreaks? (Salmonella, Campylobacter, Shigella, and Cryptosporidium)
Do not buy food past “sell by,” “use by,” or other expiration dates. Always refrigerate perishable food within 2 hours (1 hour when the temperature is above 90° F).
People with an infectious disease should have limited access to food handling.
Safe steps in food handling, cooking, and storage are essential to prevent food-borne illness.
Gastroenteritis varies from mild diarrhea to severe attacks.Symptoms develop slowly, up to 48 hours later.Illness lasts 4 to 7 days.
Symptoms vary from mild intestinal disturbance to fatal dysentery in young children.
Listeriacan grow in the refrigerator. The refrigerator should be 40° F or lower and the freezer 0° F or lower. Use a refrigerator thermometer to check your refrigerator’s inside temperature. Can produce rare but often fatal illness, with diarrhea, flulike fever and headache, pneumonia, sepsis, meningitis, and endocarditis.One third of cases occur in pregnant women.
Emphasize the importance of proper hygiene in preventing the spread of E. Coli.
Discuss the importance of thoroughly cooking seafood, especially shellfish, to reduce the risk of vibrio infection.
Symptoms of staphylococcal food poisoning:Severe cramping and abdominal painNauseaVomitingDiarrheaHeadache, fever, sweatingSometimes prostration and shock
C. perfringensMultiply in cooked meat and meat dishesDevelop in food held at warm or room temperature for extended periodC. botulinum found in canned foods.
Strict control of community water and food supplies, personal hygiene, and sanitary practices of food workers are essential to protect viral contamination.
Discuss the two measures that have helped stop the spread of parasites in the food supply.
LeadChildren are especially vulnerable.Iron deficiency increases lead absorption.AflatoxinMay contaminate peanuts, tree nuts, corn, and animal feed.
Food contaminationReview previous slides for various answers.
Chronic food and nutrient shortages within a population perpetuate the cycle of malnutrition; undernourished pregnant women give birth to low-birth-weight infants.Low-birth-weight infants are highly susceptible to infant mortality or growth retardation.
Ask students to cite some examples of the causes of malnutrition at each level of this chart.
There are many possible topics of discussion regarding food assistance programs, including program outcomes, program operations and integrity, vulnerable populations, the relation between food assistance programs and the general economy, and food security in the United States.
Safe food handling practices from the store to the table are essential. Wash hands and surfaces often. Don’t cross-contaminate.Refrigerate promptly.Cook to safe temperatures.