Volume 114, Number 11 pages 1819-1829 (November 2014)
It is the position of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics that all people should have access to a safe food and water supply. The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics supports science-based food and water regulations and recommendations that are applied consistently across all foods and water regulated by all agencies and incorporate traceability and recall to limit food- and waterborne outbreaks. Registered dietitian nutritionists and dietetic technicians, registered, are encouraged to participate in policy decisions, program development, and implementation of a food safety culture. Food safety affects all segments of the population in a global society, and, although the United States food and water system has many protections in place, food safety continues to be a public health concern. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that one in six Americans are sickened, 128,000 are hospitalized, and 3,000 die annually from foodborne disease. Using the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates for foodborne illness, it is estimated that the basic cost-of-illness averages $1,068/ episode with a total annual cost of $51 billion. The food safety system is challenged by changing demographics, consumer preferences for convenience and variety, and issues of concern in the commercial food chain and in regulatory systems. The 2011-enacted Food Safety Modernization Act is an extensive expansion of federal food regulatory authority that mandates a risk-based food safety system approach and focuses on comprehensive science-based preventive measures across the total food safety system. Registered dietitian nutritionists and dietetic technicians, registered, have unique roles in promoting and establishing food safety cultures in foodservice settings, clinical practices, community settings, and in public venues because their training integrates food; science; and health, both preventive and therapeutic.