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Health Promotion and Community Resource

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Regulatory Authorities

In order to ensure the food quality standards in every area of the food industry, there have been some regulatory authorities who work in their respective areas to ensure that the food industries are producing the standard quality food. (FoodSafety.gov, 2012)

1.Food and Drug Administration (FDA)

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is the regulatory authority of the US department of health and Human services. It is responsible for promoting and protecting public health through monitoring and regulation of dietary supplements, tobacco products, medical instruments and devices, vaccines and veterinary products.

2.United States Department of Agriculture Food Safety and Inspection Service (USDA FSIS)

USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) is responsible ensuring the commercial supply of meat, eggs and poultry in the United States is safe to consume, wholesome and appropriately labeled and packed.

3.National Marine Fisheries Service

National Marine Fisheries Service is responsible for managing, protecting and properly storing all kinds of sea food.

Following is a pictorial illustration of the percentage breakdown of factors that contribute towards food borne illnesses. Important to note that the highest risk of carrying a food borne illness is due to inappropriate cooking of foods, whereas personal hygiene and contaminated equipments are significant factors of carrying food borne illnesses.

Food producing and retail industry is bound to adopt the HACCP program for the production of their food products. As part of this program, the production of food items is monitored and controlled by determining the critical control points for production, processing and marketing of their food products. The critical limits are identified in order to ensure food safety and quality. Meat, poultry and eggs industry has adopted this method in US.

On the Farm

Since there are numerous kinds of viruses and bacteria known to cause food borne illnesses, their vaccines have been developed and continuously evolved. Though vaccines are not 100% effective, they should be used with other prevention methods. Controlling the environment strictly to minimize the number of rodents and wild birds can also reduce the risks of transmission, as rodents and wild birds are carriers of bacteria. Isolation of new animals will assist in prevention of the spread of the disease.

At the Slaughter Plant

As part of the HACCP strategies, every slaughter plant should abide by the rules of removing internal organs of the animals, minimizing contact with carcasses, chilling, appropriate cooking time and temperature and proper movement making use of facilities.

Irradiation

Irradiation of the meat has been used in the United States since 1986 to control certain parasites in pork. The FDA approved the use of gamma rays in 1990, to control bacterial reduction in poultry. Irradiation works effectively on the meat and damages the cells of living bacteria to a point where it cannot exist. Irradiated foods are marked with a logo. Irradiation does not affect the smell or taste of the food. All the nutrients remain intact. It just works on the bacteria.  (Wallace, 2012)

In the Home

Prevention methods at home can also reduce the risks of food borne illnesses to a greater extent. This includes, appropriate washing of hands and kitchen utensils, using properly treated pasteurized juices and milk, defrosting frozen meat in refrigerator in order to avoid uneven temperature. Raw fruits and vegetables are a great carrier of bacteria causing food borne illnesses, so they need to be washed thoroughly before eating. Hands should be washed properly after contact with poultry or meat. Beef and poultry should be cooked thoroughly and the cooked food should be consumed promptly. Moreover, the cooked food should be refrigerated after two hours of cooking.

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