No matter how careful you are, foodborne bacteria can find a way into your child’s lunch and make him or her sick. Symptoms can include diarrhea, vomiting, stomach cramps and fever. Children are often among the most vulnerable, and in some cases, illnesses can lead to hospitalization, long-term health complications and even death.
Using safe food-handling practices, such as keeping food refrigerated, cooking it to proper temperature and washing hands and utensils while preparing food at home can help minimize the growth and spread of contamination. However, safe handling alone doesn’t always eliminate bacteria that may already exist in food when it comes from the field or processing facility.
That’s why a prevention-based food safety system outlined in the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act is key to effectively reducing risks. But it needs to be fully implemented to work.
Check out the interactive sandwich below to learn more about which dangerous bacteria can pose a threat, and urge the White House to finalize the new regulations as soon as possible, so we can ensure a safer food supply – and sandwich – for all Americans.
The Pew Charitable Trusts released a report that examines how two recent outbreaks of foodborne salmonella infections exemplify flaws in the federal food safety program. The report, “Weaknesses in FSIS’s Salmonella Regulation,” also makes seven recommendations to improve the Food Safety and Inspection Service’s control of salmonella in poultry and strengthen its response to outbreaks caused by these bacteria. More info
All his life, Paul Schwarz had been active and healthy. When his family imagined the various ways that the decorated veteran of World War II might eventually die, they never imagined that the cause would be a piece of cantaloupe. More info
Eighty-six percent of schools in the United States are serving healthy lunches, but many could do so more effectively with updated equipment and infrastructure. Without the right tools, districts rely on workarounds that are expensive, inefficient, and unsustainable. Investing in kitchens and cafeterias could help schools better serve the nutritious foods and beverages that students need. More info
In January 2011, President Obama signed the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) into law, signaling the first major update to our nation’s food safety framework since the Great Depression. Despite bipartisan support, and a coalition of food safety advocates and industry representatives working for its enactment, the administration still has not issued the proposed rules needed to begin implementing this law. This interactive graphic represents the most widespread multistate foodborne illness outbreaks linked to FDA-regulated products since FSMA was enacted, which constitute a small fraction of total foodborne illnesses reported during that period. More info
In January 2011, President Barack Obama signed the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) into law, signaling the first major update to our nation’s food safety oversight framework since the Great Depression. Despite widespread support for the legislation and its implementation, the Obama administration still has not issued all of the proposed rules under FSMA.
At age 3, Dana Dziadul of Wake Forest, NC, fell gravely ill after eating imported cantaloupe tainted with Salmonella. As her mom explains in this video, Dana continues to experience health consequences more than a decade later. More info
March is National Nutrition Month, a time to focus new energy on giving kids healthy food options throughout the school day. Students consume up to half of their daily calories in school, so access to wholesome meals and snacks is important to their overall health. In fact, research shows that students living in states with strong nutrition laws gain less weight than those in states without such policies.
About 88 percent of 3,459 food-service directors recently surveyed by Pew Charitable Trusts and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation said they needed additional equipment to adequately prepare meals. More info
Jessica Donze Black, director of the Pew Charitable Trusts’ Kids’ Safe and Healthful Foods Project, joins host Jane Stoddard Williams to discuss the National School Lunch Program that provides low-cost or free lunches to children. More info
As Congress and the President completed the farm bill in February, victims of foodborne illness and their families wrote letters to the editor applauding federal leaders for leaving out proposals that threatened to undo parts of the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act. More info
Jessica Donze Black, director for the Pew Charitable Trusts’ Kids’ Safe and Healthful Foods Project, calls the modification change a “pragmatic and scientifically sound decision,” and San Francisco-based school food reformer Dana Woldow agrees: “[The calorie caps] will automatically limit the amount of potentially fatty protein and grains going into the meals. I think the days of seeing giant cheeseburgers the size of your head in school cafeterias may be over.”
On January 28-30, 2014, foodborne illness victims from 11 states visited Capitol Hill, asking their members of Congress to support the full funding and implementation of the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA). More info
Dana Dziadul has been fighting since she was 3 years old, but don’t bother telling her mother. First, Dana, now 16, was fighting for her life after getting debilitatingly ill from bad cantaloupe she ate when she was 3. Now, she’s fighting to ensure that other children don’t suffer the same fate that befell her – or a worse one.
Frustrated parents gathered on Capitol Hill demanding safer food Wednesday. Jacqueline Fell talked with parents who had to watch their kids get sick from food that may very well be sitting in your refrigerator right now. More info