This year's Salmonella serotype Saintpaul outbreak has given attention to the fact that fresh produce is not immune to carrying dangerous foodborne illnesses. According to a 2006 study by the Center for Science in the Public Interest, produce is the second-highest food group, behind only seafood, for being linked to outbreaks with identified causes. Young children, as well as pregnant women and their fetuses, are at particular risk. Below are Web sites detailing the latest foodborne illness information for practitioners, and common safety tips for choosing, handling, storing, and preparing produce for parents and patients.
Food Protection Plan (FDA): http://www.fda.gov/foodprotection/ Updates on the FDA's food regulatory activities.
FoodNet (CDC): http://www.cdc.gov/FoodNet/ Web site with data related to food disease monitoring.
Diagnosis and Management of Foodborne Illnesses: A Primer for Physicians and Other Health Care Professionals-2nd Edition (CDC): http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/rr5304a1.htm The CDC's teaching tool to update health care professionals about foodborne illness.
Food Safety and Inspection Service (USDA): http://www.fsis.usda.gov/ Web site of agency responsible for meat, poultry, and egg product safety.
National Digestive Diseases Information Clearinghouse (NIH): http://digestive.niddk.nih.gov/ddiseases/pubs/bacteria/index.htm NIH Information page on foodborne illnesses.
Food safety (WHO): http://www.who.int/foodsafety/en/ From the World Health Organization.
Center for Science in the Public Interest: http://www.cspinet.org/ An advocacy group for better foods.
Food Safety Information Center (USDA): http://foodsafety.nal.usda.gov/ From the Department of Agriculture.
Fightbac.org (Partnership for Food Safety Information): http://www.fightbac.org/ Web site that educates consumers about safe food handling.
Food Safety.gov: http://www.foodsafety.gov/ Portal for government food safety information.
Common Food Safety Questions (NIH): http://www.fsis.usda.gov/help/FAQs_Food_Safety/index.asp Answers both general and specialized food safety questions.
Keep Your Food Safe (FDA): http://www.fda.gov/opacom/lowlit/foodsfe.html FDA information page on buying, preparing, and storing food safely.
Consumer Advice and Publications on Food Safety, Nutrition, and Cosmetics (FDA): http://vm.cfsan.fda.gov/~lrd/advice.html A compilation of various food illness prevention topics for consumers.
Safe Food Handling Fact Sheet (USDA): http://www.fsis.usda.gov/Fact_Sheets/Safe_Food_Handling_Fact_Sheets/ USDA list of advice on handling foods safely.
Home Alone? After School Snacks and Food Safety Quiz (USDA): http://www.fsis.usda.gov/News_&_Events/NR_090704_01/ Quiz on food safety for parents to take with their kids.
Teaching Kids About Food Safety: http://hgic.clemson.edu/factsheets/HGIC3607.htm From Clemson University.