CFSAN News for Educators

CFSAN News for Educators

May/June 2014

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Upcoming Events

United Fresh Association

June 10 – 13, 2014
Chicago, IL

Institute of Food
Technologists Conference

June 21 – 24, 2014
New Orleans, LA

American Association
of Family and Consumer
Sciences (AAFCS) Annual

June 25 – 28, 2014
St. Louis, Missouri

Society for Nutrition
Education and Behavior
Annual Conference

June 28 – July 1, 2014
Milwaukee, WI

National Environmental
Health Annual Conference

July 7 - 10, 2014
Las Vegas, NV

National Association
for City and County
Health Officials (NAACHO)

July 9 – 11, 2014
Atlanta, GA

International Association
for Food Protection

August 3 – 6, 2014
Indianapolis, IN

American Association of
Diabetes Educators
Annual Meeting

August 6 – 9, 2014
Orlando, FL

A New Season ... and New Education Materials

Welcome to CFSAN's News for Educators — the at-a-glance bi-monthly e-news from FDA's Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition (CFSAN)! This issue is chock-full of announcements about the wealth of educational information available to you from FDA. Read on for news about food safety during pregnancy, engaging youth in using the Nutrition Facts Label, and the new online hub for cosmetics information. Don't miss the current list of upcoming meetings and events from FDA!

We encourage you to share this newsletter. Invite your colleagues to sign up for future issues.

Food Safety for Moms-to-Be

Image of Food Safety for Moms-to-Be manual.Did you know that a woman who is pregnant is in a high-risk group for foodborne illness? That's because her immune system is altered during this time, so it's harder for her body to fight off certain harmful foodborne microorganisms that can affect her and/or her developing baby. FDA's targeted program — Food Safety for Moms-to-Be — is newly updated for 2014 and includes a wealth of materials for educating this special audience. The program features such topics and tips as:

  • Follow the Four Simple Steps to Food Safety. During pregnancy, it's especially important to be diligent with all of these actions: Clean — wash hands and surfaces often; Separate — don't cross-contaminate; Cook — cook to proper temperatures; and Chill — refrigerate foods promptly.
  • Be mindful of methylmercury. Methylmercury is a metal that can be found in fish, including swordfish, tilefish, king mackerel and shark. If eaten by a pregnant women, the methylmercury in these fish can be harmful to her unborn baby. So, while fish is an important part of an overall healthful diet, pregnant women should avoid eating those certain types of fish.
  • Prevent listeriosis. This infection is caused by Listeria monocytogenes — a harmful bacterium that can be found in foods made from unpasteurized (raw) milk; refrigerated, ready-to-eat foods; and contaminated fresh fruits and vegetables. Prompt refrigeration at 40° F or below is critical for preventing listeriosis, as is discarding any food left at room temperature for more than two hours (and following the Four Steps named above).
  • Avoid Toxoplasma gondii. This parasite is found in raw or undercooked meat, unwashed produce, contaminated water, soil, and dirty cat–litter boxes. If ingested, it can cause toxoplasmosis and harm a woman or her baby. Pregnant women can help prevent this dangerous infection by following the Four Steps and by avoiding drinking untreated water and not touching cat litter while pregnant.

Download the Food Safety for Moms-to-Be program and share the handout materials with women in your community. All materials are available in both English and Spanish.

Read the Label Youth Outreach Campaign

Image of Read the Label's kid Tips.As an educator, you are in an ideal position to engage families in your community on the topic of nutrition! FDA invites you to download the newly updated Read the Label Youth Outreach Campaign materials — the "next generation" of FDA's award-winning Spot the Block program to promote healthy eating. This exciting nationwide grassroots initiative challenges kids (ages 9 to 13) to use the Nutrition Facts Label to make healthy food choices, focusing on these simple yet critical actions:

  • Consider the Calories. Remind kids that when choosing and comparing foods, they should check the calories per serving. 400 calories or more per serving of a single food is high and 100 calories or less is moderate. Challenge young people to keep track of the calories they consume throughout the day.

  • Check Serving Size. One package often contains more than one serving — for example, a seemingly small bag of chips could actually add up to three servings. Encourage kids to use the serving size on the label to discover the total number of calories and nutrients they'd be getting if they consumed the entire package.

  • Choose Nutrients Wisely. Fiber, calcium, iron and vitamins A & C are "nutrients to get more of," so remind kids to get at least 100% DV of these. Trans fat, saturated fat, cholesterol, sodium, and sugars are "nutrients to get less of," so remind kids to aim for less than 100% DV of these. Let kids know that trans fat and sugars have no %DV on the label, so they can use grams to compare.

There are many new Read the Label assets online for you ... and for kids and families, too. Obtain the Community Educator's manual with presentation materials; a colorful, ready-to-use assortment of kid and parent handouts; plus an engaging animated infographic showcasing the key highlights of the Nutrition Facts Label!

"Cosmetics" Gets an Online Makeover!

Image of FDA's new website for Cosmetics.CFSAN has reorganized the cosmetics content of the FDA website to make it easier for both you and your consumers to navigate the site and find the information you're looking for. Here is just a sampling of topics to be found:

  • Safety of Salon Products: FDA often gets questions from both salon professionals and their clients about the safety of cosmetic products used in hair, nail, skin care and spray tanning salons. The site includes a list of resources people often request when they're concerned about salon safety.

  • Soaps and Lotions: Lotions, soaps, and other cleansers may be regulated as cosmetics or as other product categories, depending on how they are intended to be used. The newly organized site includes safety information about a number of product types as well as info about specific ingredients consumers often ask about, such as parabens and phthalates.

  • Cosmetics and Pregnancy: Some consumers who are pregnant may have concerns or questions about cosmetic products or ingredients. The site includes cosmetics fact sheets and Q&As available online, which provide general safety information. However, you should always encourage consumers to contact their health care provider for medical advice.

Check out the site to see what's new in cosmetics.

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