Nationally Recognized Food Expert Gives Safety Tips Following E Coli Outbreak

Nationally Recognized Food Expert Gives Safety Tips Following E Coli Outbreak











Angela Paymard, Chairwoman of N2N Global


Orlando, Fla. (PRWEB) June 02, 2011

An outbreak of a dangerous strain of Escherichia coli bacteria in Germany has already killed 15 people and made 1,000 more ill. Early evidence by German researchers linked the outbreak to cucumbers imported from farms in Spain.

“Every expert says there is no immediate risk to the U.S. food supply, which is great news. But consumers wanting to remain aware of any new developments can take some additional steps to ease their fears,” said Angela Paymard, Chairwoman of N2N Global. N2N Global, based in Orlando, Fla. provides operations, compliance, and food safety solutions for food companies which helps ensure the world’s food supply operates more effectively and efficiently. Better and more efficient operations translates to a higher quality of food in the supply chain. Paymard works with food supply chain companies like restaurants, retailers, and distributors all the way through growers, packers, and processors around the world.

“Consumers need to adopt better food safety habits as a rule,” Paymard said. “It’s an opportunity for consumers to become educated in best practices for food safety.”

According to the US Food and Drug Administration, U.S. food consumers are increasingly demanding greater variety, quality, and convenience in the food they consume. As Americans become more ethnically diverse, the American food basket reflects a growing share of tropical products, spices, and imported gourmet products.

Americans have also become much more health conscious, with consumers demanding more nutritious foods. Dietary concerns have changed the emphasis from red meat to fish, fostered growing interest in fresh fruits, vegetables, and unsaturated fats, such as olive oil and canola oil, and sparked new interest in green teas, which contain antioxidants. In addition, cocoa (and dark chocolate) contains high levels of antioxidants and flavonoids, which are linked to improved cardiovascular health. Green tea and cocoa butter are also used in beauty products.

But, a growing share of U.S. imports can be attributed to intra-industry trade, where agricultural-processing industries based in one country carry out certain processing steps offshore and import products at different levels of processing from their subsidiaries in foreign markets.

Food manufacturing operations are often spread over many national boundaries to minimize production and distribution costs as well as to enhance the ability to quickly replenish inventories, the USDA concluded.

Whether the food is coming from Europe or other parts of the world, consumers should keep in mind that if food is processed and packaged, the food should be safe as long as the seal is not broken. For fresh foods, the risk of contamination is higher.

While experts say there is no immediate threat to the U.S. consumer, and since the attacks on September 11, 2001, the USDA’s commitment to protect America’s supply of meat, poultry, and egg products from any form of intentional or unintentional contamination has never been higher, consumers can do the following:

1. Check the Country of Origin Labeling on your fresh food. As part of the overall 2008 Farm Bill legislation, retailers must provide country of origin information at point of sale for perishable agricultural commodities. This paved the way for companies to label their packages with the city and state from which the product came. If from outside the U.S., labeling includes the country from which it came. Consumers can decide whether they want to consume product from any particular geography.

2. Visit http://www.foodsafety.gov The FDA’s job is to protect the public food supply. They monitor food domestically and have offices internationally in some countries. The FDA has a great website, foodsafety.gov. Consumers can log on to the website and receive the latest information about radiation safety and the status of any contamination from Japan as seen by the people protecting and examining imports at our borders. Consumers can also log onto N2N Global’s Twitter page for up to date information under http://www.twitter.com/n2nglobal.

Paymard says food safety risks can easily be avoided at home when consumers adhere to good food safety practices every day. Here are some of Angela’s tips:

    Wash Fresh Foods. As with any good food safety practices, make sure to wash your fresh foods with a thorough rinse. While soap is not necessary, many retailers offer a vegetable rinse for purchase that works great at cleansing fresh fruit and vegetables while not impacting taste
    Wash Your Hands: Consumers should wash their hands for 20 seconds with soap and warm water before and after handling food. Clean hands are one of the best ways to protect your family from illness.
    Clean Your Countertops and Utensils: After cooking wash your surfaces with hot soapy water and run your cutting boards and utensils through the dishwasher every time you use them to prevent bacteria from growing and spreading. Dishwashers help wash utensils in water of at least 120 degrees or higher for an extended period to help assure contaminants are neutralized.
    Cook to Proper Temperature: Under cooked food is a common cause of food illness. Check the proper temperature of the foods you’re cooking and get a thermometer to be on the safe side. Food thermometers are inexpensive and can be found in most grocery stores.
    Chill and Refrigerate Foods Promptly: Keep foods refrigerated before and after they are served. Refrigeration slows bacterial growth.
While the United States has one of the safest food supplies in the world, preventing foodborne illness remains a public health challenge, says Paymard. Consumers need to be aware of ways they can protect themselves and their families from all types of illnesses that can be caused by food.

About N2N Global

N2N Global’s product suite brings powerful solutions for all members of the food supply chain. For Supply Side companies, N2N offers agri-ERP solutions, farm management, food safety, business analytics and traceability software. For direct to consumer and buy side companies, N2N offers food safety, compliance, and asset tracking tools to help ensure the food supply is properly managed for minimized risk.N2N Global provides comprehensive solutions for companies looking for ways to improve efficiencies, enhance profitability, and ensure food safety. To contact Angela Paymard directly, visit her on N2N’s twitter page http://www.twitter.com/n2nglobal. For more information, please visit http://www.n2nglobal.com.

N2N Media Relations

Karen McGagh

+443-632-4217

kmcgagh(at)us(dot)n2nglobal(dot)com

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Colorado?s Community-Funded Safety Net Clinics and Rural Health Clinics Celebrate 2nd Annual Safety Net Clinic Week

Colorado’s Community-Funded Safety Net Clinics and Rural Health Clinics Celebrate 2nd Annual Safety Net Clinic Week










(PRWEB) August 22, 2011

Colorado’s Community-Funded Safety Net Clinics and Federally Certified Rural Health Clinics are celebrating the second annual Safety Net Clinic Week, August 22 – 26, by inviting state officials and the public to visit their clinics.

The Colorado Rural Health Center’s Chief Operating Officer, David Lack, said people often think all parts of the critical health care safety net are supported by federal funds, but the realities are startlingly different. “Rural Health Clinics and Community-Funded Safety Net Clinics often receive very little if any federal funding; instead they rely on a complex and vulnerable funding stream. Mobilizing efforts to ensure all safety net providers are recognized and adequately funded is essential to ensuring our ability to continue delivering care to some of the state’s most at-risk residents,” Lack explained.

ClinicNET’s Executive Director, Sharon Adams, said one size does not fit all in the health care safety net. “All parts of the safety net and its varied models of care delivery are essential in order for every Colorado resident to have access to high quality health care,” Adams explained.

Colorado’s Community-Funded Safety Net Clinics and federally certified Rural Health Clinics consist of 85 clinics located in 33 counties throughout Colorado. Annually, Colorado’s CSNCs and RHCs provide an estimated 750,000 visits to 300,000 Colorado residents, many in rural parts of our state. The clinics provide primary health care and chronic care services to low-income, uninsured and underinsured Coloradans.

About The Colorado Rural Health Center

The Colorado Rural Health Center (CRHC) is an independent, nonprofit, membership-based organization that serves as the State Office of Rural Health for Colorado. CRHC offers programs and services to ensure that rural communities have access to high quality health care services. For more on the Colorado Rural Health Center visit http://www.coruralhealth.org.

About ClinicNET

Incorporated in 2007, ClinicNET provides a collective advocacy voice for Colorado’s Rural Health Clinics (RHCs) and Community-Funded Safety Net Clinics (CSNCs). ClinicNET is committed to strengthening Colorado’s safety net by empowering organizations that provide health care to vulnerable populations. For more information about ClinicNET visit http://www.clinicnet.org.

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New Research Shows Americans Falling Behind on Proper Food Safety Practices

New Research Shows Americans Falling Behind on Proper Food Safety Practices














Washington, DC (Vocus) May 20, 2009

Foodborne illness outbreaks have been a regular feature in the news lately and are top of mind when consumers think of food and health issues, but new International Food Information Council Foundation research shows that fewer people are taking basic precautions that could significantly reduce their risk of becoming sick.

According to the Foundation’s fourth annual Food & Health Survey, more than half of Americans think foodborne illness from bacteria, such as E. coli and Salmonella, is the most important food safety issue today (52 percent). While 95 percent say they take at least one food safety precaution when cooking, preparing and consuming food, the number of people taking various precautions is down for nearly every action from 2008:

    Wash hands with soap and water (87 percent in 2009 vs. 92 percent in 2008)
    Wash cutting boards with soap and water or bleach (77 percent in 2009 vs. 84 percent in 2008)
    Cook food to required temperature (71 percent in 2009 vs. 76 percent in 2008)
    Properly store leftovers within two hours of serving (69 percent in 2009 vs. 79 percent in 2008)
    Separate raw meat, poultry and seafood from ready-to-eat food products (63 percent in 2009 vs. 70 percent in 2008)
In addition, only 50 percent of Americans report using different or freshly cleaned cutting boards for each product (such as raw meat or poultry or produce) and only one in four use a food thermometer to check the doneness of meat and poultry items (25 percent).

Americans are also faring worse when it comes to following microwave cooking instructions in 2009 :

    Follow all the cooking instructions (68 percent in 2009 vs. 79 percent in 2008)
    Flip, rotate or stir during the microwave cooking process (62 percent in 2009 vs. 72 percent in 2008)
    Let food stand for appropriate time after microwaving (48 percent in 2009 vs. 58 percent in 2008)
    Increase or decrease cooking times based on the wattage of my microwave (48 percent in 2009 vs. 58 percent in 2008)    

“It is impossible to overstate the importance of following proper food safety practices,” says David Schmidt, International Food Information Council Foundation CEO. “Clearly Americans understand the need for these practices, but they still can do a better job of handling food properly at home, which potentially decreases the risk of foodborne illness.”

Confidence in and Perceived Responsibility for Ensuring a Safe Food Supply

Americans’ confidence in the safety of the U.S. food supply remained stable in 2009, but still only 49 percent of consumers say they are confident in the safety of our food. (See video) When asked who is responsible for food safety in the U.S. Americans look to food manufacturers (72 percent) and the government (72 percent) first, followed by farmers/producers (57 percent), retailers (49 percent)and consumers/individuals (41 percent).

These findings are part of an extensive look at what Americans are doing regarding their eating and health habits in the fourth annual Food & Health Survey conducted by the International Food Information Council Foundation. The survey of 1,064 American adults was conducted over a two and a half-week period in February and March of 2009.

Other key findings from the 2009 Survey include:

The Impact of the Economy on Food and Beverage Purchases (See Video)

    Price is having a bigger impact on consumers’ food and beverage purchasing decisions (74 percent in 2009 vs. 64 percent in 2006).
    Consumers between the ages of 25 and 34 are most likely to say price is a major influencing factor.
    Taste remains the biggest influence on purchasing decisions (87 percent) followed by healthfulness (61 percent) and convenience (52 percent).

Top Impacts on Americans’ Health (See Video)

    Consumers believe exercising has the biggest impact on their health (80 percent) ranking ahead of making healthful food choices (66 percent) and managing weight (53 percent).
    Americans rate their health status very high (81 percent as “excellent,” “very good” or “good,”), but far less (58 percent) are “somewhat” or “extremely satisfied” with their health status indicating that they think they could do better.
    Nearly two in three (64 percent) are trying to improve the healthfulness of what they eat with the top reasons being to improve overall well-being (64 percent), improve physical health and lose weight (both 61 percent).

Dieting and Weight Management (See Video)

    Consumers are confused by calories:

o    Less than one third of Americans (30 percent) correctly say that “calories in general are most likely to cause weight gain.”

o    Just 15 percent of Americans are able to provide an accurate estimate of the number of calories they should be consuming.

o    Still, calories remain number one on the list of things people look at on the Nutrition Facts panel of food and beverage packages (75 percent).

    Seventy-eight percent of Americans say they’re trying to lose or maintain their weight.
    Those trying to lose weight say they’re most encouraged by “improvement in physical appearance” (69 percent); “improvement in health/overall well-being” (67 percent); “increased self-esteem” (49 percent); and “increased energy” (49 percent) among others.

The 2009 Food & Health Survey also covers consumer attitudes toward meal occasions, dietary fats, carbohydrates and sugars, foods and beverages with added health and wellness benefits, low-calorie sweeteners, caffeine, food additives and colors, awareness and use of government-sponsored programs such as MyPyramid, and use of the Nutrition Facts panel and other forms of food and beverage labeling.

For a copy of the entire survey and other resources for journalists and bloggers please visit ific.org or contact the Foundation media team at 202-296-6540 or media(at)ific.org.

The International Food Information Council Foundation effectively communicates science-based information on health, nutrition and food safety for the public good. The Foundation is supported primarily by the broad-based food, beverage and agricultural industries. Foundation materials are available at http://ific.org/newsroom. For interviews with experts or for more information, call (202) 296-6540.

Contact

Eric Mittenthal/Jania Matthews

(202) 296-6540

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International Food Protection Training Institute (IFPTI) Receives NSF international 2011 Food Safety Leadership Trendsetter Award

International Food Protection Training Institute (IFPTI)
Receives NSF international 2011 Food Safety Leadership
Trendsetter Award












IFPTI Logo


BATTLE CREEK, Mich. (Vocus/PRWEB) April 17, 2011

The International Food Protection Training Institute (IFPTI), the leader in delivering career-spanning, standards-based food protection training, will be awarded the 2011 NSF Food Safety Leadership Trendsetter Award at the Food Safety Summit on April 20, 2011. Today’s announcement from NSF International, recognizes IFPTI as a first year program leading the charge in food safety leadership, initiative, and laudable accomplishments.

IFPTI has trained over 1,300 food protection professionals from 47 states and provided emergency training for regulators and industries responding to the 2010 BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. Now, through a multidisciplinary curriculum team, IFPTI is developing the first-ever national curriculum for the integrated food safety system.

The NSF Food Safety Leadership Award was created to recognize leaders in foodservice who have made a real and lasting impact in food safety. Each year, NSF International seeks nominations from throughout the food safety community and convenes an independent panel of food safety experts from academia, industry and the regulatory community to select the winners. Nominations are evaluated based on creativity, innovation, design and the contributions made to the advancement of food safety.

“Our team is honored to receive this award from NSF International”, said Gerald Wojtala, Executive Director of IFPTI. “It is a privilege to be recognized by our colleagues in the food protection community. There is great work being done to integrate the food safety system and training is a key component for its success.”

“IFPTI has trained over 1,300 food protection professionals from 47 states through a multidisciplinary curriculum team,” said Tom Chestnut, Vice President, NSF International Supply Chain Food Safety and Quality. “I congratulate Gerald and his team for their ongoing commitment to food safety training.”

About NSF International

NSF International, an independent, not-for-profit organization, certifies products and writes standards for food, water and consumer goods to minimize adverse health effects and protect the environment (http://www.nsf.org). Founded in 1944, NSF is committed to protecting public health and safety worldwide and operates in more than 120 countries. NSF is a World Health Organization Collaborating Centre for Food and Water Safety and Indoor Environment.

NSF’s Food Safety Programs offer a total food safety solution to growers, processors, distributors, retailers and food-service operators, as well as food equipment and beverage manufacturers. NSF services include training and education, certification to Global Food Safety Standards (e.g. SQF, BRC, GlobalGAP, FSSC, etc), auditing and registration services such as ISO 22000.

Additional services include safety audits for the food and water industries, management systems registrations delivered through NSF International Strategic Registrations and organic certification provided by QAI (Quality Assurance International).

About IFPTI

The International Food Protection Training Institute (IFPTI) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization building and administering the training infrastructure for the nation’s integrated food safety system.

Working with federal regulatory and public health officials, IFPTI is establishing and overseeing the implementation of a career-spanning food protection training curriculum that will increase capacity, and assure competency and equivalency throughout all regulatory jurisdictions in meeting established U.S. federal food safety standards.

IFPTI is a member of the GFPI global initiative, a knowledge-exchange and resource-development network seeking to influence the adoption of food protection practices and policies in pursuit of a safe, secure, and healthy food supply.

Financial support for IFPTI is provided by a grant from the Food and Drug Administration, and through the generosity of the W.K. Kellogg Foundation.

IFPTI Contact:                                     NSF Contact:        

Joan Bowman                                Greta Houlahan         

269-350-1811 (cell)                            734-913-5723 (direct)    

joan(dot)bowman(at)ifpti(dot)org                     houlahan(at)nsf(dot)org

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NSF International?s Global Food Safety Certification Division Earns Five-Star Rating from British Retail Consortium (BRC)

NSF International’s Global Food Safety Certification Division Earns Five-Star Rating from British Retail Consortium (BRC)











NSF International


Ann Arbor, Mich. (PRWEB) August 09, 2011

NSF International’s Food Safety Division has earned the highest rating from the British Retail Consortium (BRC), developer of the BRC global food safety standards for food, packaging, storage and distribution. This excellent five-star rating confirms NSF’s reputation as a leading certifier to the global food safety standards, having certified more than 28,000 farms and facilities.

NSF is committed to helping companies throughout the global food supply chain strengthen their quality assurance programs. In 2009, NSF International became the first North American certification body to earn ANSI accreditation for BRC standards and has become the largest certifier to BRC worldwide and SQF in the U.S. Many of the leading global retail and foodservice companies now require certification of their suppliers against these Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI)*-benchmarked standards to help strengthen food safety practices.

For the first time, BRC published the key performance indicators (KPI) ratings of each certification body from January – June 2011 in their directory, which highlights NSF International’s five-star rating. The BRC measures each certification body on the following KPIs every six months: Audit Report Writing Quality, Compliance to the BRC Scheme & Standard Protocol Requirements, Auditor Registration, Data Submission, Commitment and Communication.

“BRC works closely with our certification bodies to ensure the most effective and consistent use of the BRC Global Standards,” said John Kukoly, Senior Technical Marketing Representative in North America for BRC. “A rigorous set of key performance indicators are used to measure feedback and continually improve the performance of our partners in assessing certified companies. These measures, the most rigorous in the industry, ensure that those certification bodies (able to perform BRC certification audits) are held to exacting expectations and standards themselves. When a certification body receives a five-star rating, such as NSF International, this puts them at the very top performance level within the BRC program.”

“NSF International has grown into the largest certifier to BRC worldwide, and SQF in the U.S., because we’ve continued to focus on quality and meeting the expectations of our customers, accreditation bodies and standard’s owners,” said Robert Prevendar, Director of Food Safety Certification Systems for NSF International. “I am very proud of our auditors and operations team for placing us in the top five percent with our score of 100, which helps us fulfill NSF’s mission of protecting and improving human health worldwide.”

For more information visit NSF’s Global Food Safety webpage or contact Helen Gipple at foodsafetysolutions(at)nsf(dot)org or 734-827-6845.

About NSF International:

NSF International is an independent organization that certifies products and writes standards for food, water and consumer goods (nsf.org). Founded in 1944, NSF is committed to protecting public health and safety worldwide. NSF is a World Health Organization Collaborating Centre for Food and Water Safety and Indoor Environment.

NSF offers certification to Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI)-benchmarked* food safety standards, such as British Retail Consortium (BRC) and Safe Quality Food (SQF). These global food safety certification systems promote consistency across the supply chain and provide independent certification that a product, process, or service complies with international, regulatory, and other specified standards.

NSF’s Global Food Safety Division

Services offered by NSF’s Global Food Safety Division include: foodservice equipment certification; food safety and quality auditing and certification for the produce, agriculture, poultry, egg and livestock industry; consulting & technical services; Global Food Safety Standards certification (SQF, BRC, GlobalGAP, FSSC, IFS, Dutch HACCP); restaurant and supermarket food safety; Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) certification, Aquaculture Certification Council (ACC) certification, HACCP validation and inspection, seafood testing and auditing; bottled water/flavored beverage quality certification; organic certification, and education and training.

Additional NSF International services include dietary supplement and nutritional ingredient certification, drinking water certification and safety audits, management systems registrations (e.g. ISO 14001); and sustainable business solutions.

*The Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI), an independent non-profit foundation managed by The Consumer Goods Forum, was founded in 2000.

CONTACT:

Greta Houlahan

NSF International

Phone: 734-913-5723

Email: houlahan(at)nsf(dot)org

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