Food Safety & Defense

Food Allergy & Intolerance

Food allergies affect about one to two percent of the U.S. adult population and 4 percent of U.S. children and teenagers.  As with any public health concern, building awareness of this food safety risk is one of the key aspects of effectively managing food allergy. Understanding what triggers allergic reactions and how to avoid allergens can reduce risk of negative health consequences.

Chemical Risk

Consumers are often surprised to learn that food is made up entirely of chemicals. Some chemicals, like sugar, are familiar while others, like acrylamide, are not. The fear of the unknown can affect how individuals make decisions about their diet. Helping to familiarize consumers with common chemicals in the food supply, their purpose and potential health risks serves to improve their acceptability and continued use.

Safe Food Handling & Foodborne Illness

Good sanitation, careful food handling and preparation by everyone in the food system will always be necessary to reduce the risk of foodborne illness.  Simple food handling and storage steps are key preventative measures, all it takes is a little know-how. To avoid foodborne illness it is important to think about food safety at each step, from shopping, to cooking, to cleaning, to storing leftovers.

Food Defense

Government agencies and private sector organizations protect consumers by reducing the risk of tampering or other malicious, criminal, or terrorist actions on the food supply. Continued partnerships between the public and private sector, with broad, cooperative, and integrated efforts, serve to protect and preserve the safety of the food supply. Understanding what safeguards are in place and the areas where vulnerability still exists is paramount in improving measures of food defense and preventing intentional attacks on the food supply.