Keeping Healthy Foods Safe
Growing recognition of the impact of potential environmental
hazards on human health has created heightened concern and
confusion about the safety of nutritious foods â€• like fresh
produce and fish â€• that we're encouraged to eat.
As many families strive to eat more nutritiously by including
lots of fish and produce in their diet, concern has grown about the
safety of these foods. Produce now accounts for 6% of the outbreaks
of food-borne illnesses, up sharply from previous years, according
to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). And
outbreaks of food-borne illness due to
contamination in spinach and salmonella contamination in tomatoes
sent a strong reminder to consumers in 2006 about the importance of
taking food safety precautions. Other messages about nutrition and
food safety are not as clear. Though seafood has long been promoted
as a good source of protein that's beneficial to heart and
brain health, there's increasing concern about chemicals in
seafood and the risks to younger children and unborn babies. In
June 2006, Consumer Reports advised pregnant women to avoid eating
tuna because its mercury content could potentially harm a
developing fetus. The advisory challenged the U.S. Food and Drug
Administration's position that it's safe for pregnant women
to eat small amounts of tuna.
What to Watch:
With many experts predicting more produce contamination cases,
government officials will need to reexamine whether regulators have
the resources and strategy to handle an increasingly complex job.
Some have called for a single agency devoted to food safety to
replace the patchwork of more than a dozen agencies that now handle
the job. Ultimately, however, because the journey from farm to
table often spans the globe, it will fall to parents to take more
responsibility for ensuring the healthfulness and safety of the
food they put on the table. Currently, that's not an easy
Being Safe in the Kitchen
Why Do I Need to Wash My Hands?
Food Safety for Your Family
Why Is Hand Washing So Important?
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Note: All information is for educational purposes only. For specific medical advice,
diagnoses, and treatment, consult your doctor.
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