Volume 109, Issue 8, Pages 1449-1460 (August 2009)
This position paper has expired and it has been reaffirmed to be updated. The updated position paper is under development.
It is the position of the American Dietetic Association that the public has the right to a safe food and water supply. The Association supports collaboration among food and nutrition professionals, academics, representatives of the agricultural and food industries, and appropriate government agencies to ensure the safety of the food and water supply by providing education to the public and industry, promoting technological innovation and applications, and supporting further research. New food and water safety issues evolve as the environment changes. Food and nutrition professionals should collaborate with food and agriculture industries and members of the medical community in a joint effort to address these issues. Recent food- and waterborne illnesses have occurred in new settings and/or unique foods not traditionally associated with foodborne illness outbreaks. New issues associated with food safety and security that have emerged support the need for continued education and research. Government programs have developed powerful tools such as FoodNet and PulseNet to detect food- and waterborne illness outbreaks in the United States. These government programs have provided the data to enhance public policy and educational programs such as FightBac! Mandatory and voluntary adoption of Hazard Analysis Critical Control Points in the foodservice and processing industries have contributed to a decrease in foodborne illness outbreaks from traditional foods and some microorganisms usually associated with foodborne illnesses. Food and nutrition professionals are positioned to provide food and water safety education in community, clinical settings, and foodservice operations and food industries. With an aging population and an increased number of people at risk due to medical conditions for food- and waterborne illness, food and nutrition professionals should be involved in collaborative food and water safety issues in educational, research, and policy agenda settings. As the food and nutrition experts, food and nutrition professionals must assume a major role in food and water safety education and research.