What is the CDC?
Centers For Disease Control And Prevention (CDC), on its website, describes itself as a unique agency with a unique mission.One of the major official operating bodies among the Department of Health and Human Services in the United States of America, CDC's mission is to protect the safety, health, and security of the state from threats around the world.
Working for more than 70 years, Centers For Disease Control is a science-based, data-driven, national center in the USA. The organization's purpose is control and prevention of any health calamity, eliminating diseases, and ending epidemics to protect the public health, prepare the state and local territories for any such situation. In particular, it focuses on infectious disease, food borne pathogens,environmental health, occupational safety and health, health promotion, injury prevention and educational activities designed to improve the health of citizens of theUnited States.
The history of CDC Food Safety
The conversation around foodborne illness outbreaks and Food Safety issues have assumed greater importance in the last few decades. And it's not surprising when continuous research by health officials have found certain food to be the major cause of many illness outbreaks. In 2006, an outbreak linked to spinach contaminated with shiga toxin-producing E. coli resulted in 199 illnesses in 26 states. It affected the lives of more than 100 people in the US, three died as well. More recently, in 2016, Salmonella Muenchen and Salmonella Kentucky from alfalfa sprouts infected 32 people in 13 states in the US.
While food researchers believe that foodborne illnesses go back in time, one of the first documented cases of a known foodborne illness dates back to 323 B.C. Doctors at the University of Maryland, who studied historical accounts of Alexander the Great's symptoms and death, concluded that he would have died from typhoid fever, which was caused by Salmonella typhi.
Centers For Disease Control, earlier known as Communicable Disease Center (founded in 1946), however took up the reins from the Public Health Service in 1961. The Public Health Service was researching and studying foodborne illness for almost four decades then. In the years 1961 to 1965, CDC provided outbreak statistics and accounts of individual outbreaks in the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR). It took a brief pause, but with the interest in foodborne illness only growing at the time and considering public health and disease prevention, CDC resumed publishing of the annual summaries of foodborne disease outbreaks in 1966. This initiated effective record keeping of food borne illness that could be used to control and prevent similar outbreaks in the future. One of the first major food recalls in the US was reportedly canned mushrooms in 1973. From 1966 to 1982, the CDC published outbreak data as stand-alone booklets and returned to publishing reports in MMWR from 1982 to 2010. Post that, and with the rise of digital technology, CDC has been researching and posting annual summaries online.
Foodborne illness is a big issue in the United States.
The CDC has been tracking foodborne illnesses in the US for over 100 years. They know what's going on and they have some solutions.
When It Comes To CDC Food Safety, How Do They Operate
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) estimates one in six Americans get sick from contaminated food or beverages annually. As per its assessment, around 3,000 die from foodborne illness. Foodborne illness is common and costly, but preventable too. And thus, one of the major roles of CDC is to create a link between foodborne illness and the food safety systems of government agencies and food producers.
The Foodborne Disease Outbreak Surveillance System (FDOSS) is CDC's program for collecting and reporting data about foodborne disease outbreaks in the United States. Foodborne Disease Outbreak Surveillance System is a part of the National Outbreak Reporting System (NORS), which also includes data on illnesses resulting from contact with animals, environmental contamination, spread by person-to-person, waterborne transmission, and other enteric illness outbreaks.
When collecting information, FDOSS takes the below mentioned into consideration-
- Date and location of the outbreak.
- Number of people who became ill and their symptoms.
- Food or drink implicated.
- Setting where the food or drink was prepared and eaten.
- Pathogen (germ, toxin, or chemical) that caused the outbreak.
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) then works with various partners to determine the major sources of foodborne illnesses. It studies the annual changes in the number of illnesses, investigates multistate foodborne disease outbreaks, and implements systems for prevention. CDC works with government partners including the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and USDA's Food Safety and Inspection Service.
CDC also helps state and local health departments in improving the tracking and investigation of foodborne illnesses and outbreaks. Through its surveillance systems such as PulseNet, the Foodborne Diseases Active Surveillance Network (FoodNet), the System for Enteric Disease Response, Investigation, and Coordination (SEDRIC), the Foodborne Disease Outbreak Surveillance System, and other such programs, CDC uses data to determine whether prevention measures are working. It also helps the center establish the spots where further efforts for prevention are needed to reduce foodborne illness. It investigates Supply Chain
networks to figure the cause of any foodborne illness.Centers Disease
Control organization also works with other countries and international agencies to improve tracking, investigation, and prevention of foodborne infections in theUnited States and around the world.
What Are CDC Food Safety Guidelines?
CDC's Food Safety guidelines are simple to comprehend, and easy to follow. CDC recommend Food Handlers to follow the principle of- Clean, Separate, Cook, Chill.
As per the CDC info, germs that cause food poisoning can survive at multiple places and spread around your kitchen. Washing hands for 20 seconds with soap and water before, during, and after preparing food and before eating helps. Washing utensils, chopping boards, and countertops with hot, soapy water after preparing each food item may help in keeping the germs away. Rinsing fresh fruits and vegetables thoroughly under running water is also a good way to keep the germs away from your food.
Avoiding any cross-contamination is one of the best methods to prevent foodborne illness. Raw meat, poultry, seafood, and eggs can spread germs to ready-to-eat foods unless you keep them separate. It is advisable to use separate cutting boards and plates for raw meat, poultry, and seafood. When grocery shopping, keep raw meat, poultry, seafood, and their juices away from other foods. Even while refrigerating, keep raw meat, poultry, seafood, and eggs separate from all other foods.
- Cook to the right temperature
By controlling the temperature, one can control the levels of bacteria which spoil foods and cause illness. Heat kills bacteria. When cooked, the internal temperature of food gets high enough to kill germs that can make you sick. The only way to tell if food is safely cooked is to use a food thermometer, not by checking its color and texture (except for seafood that can be checked with external icons like texture, etc).
For instance, whole cuts of beef, veal, lamb, and pork, including fresh ham (raw) should have an internal temperature of 145F. These meat items should be then allowed to rest for three minutes before carving or eating. Ground meats, such as beef and pork should have an internal temperature of 160F.
Refrigerating, again, is a way to reduce the growth of any harmful bacteria. Cold temperatures slow down the growth of bacteria to prevent it from reaching harmful levels. Bacteria can multiply rapidly if left at room temperature or in the Danger Zone between 40F and 140F. CDC suggests to keep your refrigerator at 40F or below, and the freezer at 0F or below. One should know when to throw food out. Divide warm foods into several clean, shallow containers so they will chill faster. Refrigerate perishable food within 2 hours. If the food is exposed to temperatures above 90F (like a hot car or picnic), refrigerate it within one hour. Thaw frozen food safely in the refrigerator, in cold water, or in the microwave. Never thaw foods on the counter because bacteria multiply quickly in the parts of the food that reach room temperature.
But in case of any untoward incident where one suspects food could be the cause of the symptoms, Find Doctor
immediately for control and prevention of any complication.
Any Flaws In the CDC Food Safety Guidelines?
Throughout the coronavirus pandemic, the Centers For Disease Control has been under the scanner for being politically motivated, rather than scientifically motivated by health officials outside the government bodies. The New York Times, in one of its opinion pieces in March 2022, suggested that the organization requires active work to earn trust and retain credibility. To ensure that this kind of separation between politics and health can happen regardless of the presidential administration, new measures may need to be enacted. For example, Congress could move agencies like the C.D.C. and the Food and Drug Administration outside of the Department of Health and Human Services to allow for more independence, NYT said.
When it comes to the food safety guidelines suggested by the CDC, the criticism has been few and far between. But the US government, on its own admission, realizes some of the flaws it needs to fix. For instance, in one of the reports by the state, it mentions that CDC has 18 surveillance systems that include information on foodborne diseases used to detect cases or outbreaks of foodborne disease, pinpoint their cause, recognize trends, and develop effective prevention and control measures. While CDC's systems have contributed to food safety, the usefulness of several of these surveillance systems is impaired both by CDC's untimely release of surveillance data and by gaps in the data collection, the report notes.
Getting sick from food is never a good thing.
Foodborne illnesses are on the rise.
Is There A Technology Influence on the CDC Food Safety Guidelines
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is the national public health agency of the United States. A US federal agency, under the Department of Health and Human Services,CDC has been working with state, local, and territorial public health departments on foodborne illness investigations since the late 1960s.
The agency, while focusing on food safety and disease control and prevention, realizes that some of the most loved foods that people love and rely on for good health, sometimes contain bacteria and other germs that can cause sickness and can even be deadly at times. To avoid that, CDC conducts studies and investigations so that more prevention efforts could be made to reduce foodborne illness in the United States.
The organization, however, notes that the challenges to food safety will continue to arise because of-
- Changes in food production and our food supply, including central processing and widespread distribution, which mean a single contaminated food can make people sick in different parts of the country or even the world.
- New and emerging antibiotic resistance.
- Unexpected sources of foodborne illness, such as flour and onions.
Every day, we are exposed to a variety of germs and bacteria that can make us sick.
It's important to be aware of the risks and how to protect yourself.