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USDA announces food safety education conference

USDA's Food Safety and Inspection Service announced on July 20, it will co-host a food safety education conference March 23 to 26, 2010, titled "Advancements in Food Safety Education: Trends, Tools and Technologies." As part of the Obama administration's continuing effort to protect the public from foodborne illness, the conference will provide an opportunity to share the most recent information and ideas for general and at-risk populations among a wide variety of those interested in food safety--especially public health professionals and health care providers, educators, industry professionals, communicators, trade and health associations and consumer groups. USDA will partner with the non-profit public health organization NSF International to host the event.

"Foodborne illness is a public health and regulatory challenge that we must continue to address, and the Obama administration is committed to making important strides to keep families safe," said USDA Deputy Under Secretary for Food Safety Jerold Mande. "Through food safety education and partnership development, we can empower consumers with the knowledge to engage in safe food handling behaviors that reduce exposure to pathogens known to cause foodborne illness."

Earlier this month, top Obama administration officials, including Secretary Vilsack, announced key findings of the Food Safety Working Group. Created by President Obama in March to advise the administration on how to upgrade the food safety system for the 21st century, the Working Group is recommending a new, public health-focused approach to food safety based on three core principles: prioritizing prevention; strengthening surveillance and enforcement, and improving response and recovery. The 2010 conference will continue to advance this goal.

"Advancements in Food Safety Education: Trends, Tools and Technologies" will explore the vast new array of latest communication trends, tools and technologies to best reach the consumer and affect consumer behavior and public awareness in an increasingly crowded information environment. Presentations will focus on the causes and effects of foodborne illness, as well as the attribution of illness to specific food sources. Additional topics include behavioral and attitudinal research; social marketing trends and consumer outreach; the role of the medical community; the role of food service and retail; the role of technology in consumer education and risk communication; and partnerships and collaborations. Information will be provided through plenary sessions, panel discussions, poster presentations and exhibits. For more information, visit www.fsis.usda.gov/Atlanta2010.



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