Selling safe and wholesome food is a top industry priority. To maintain consumer trust and protect public health, retailers can build stronger food safety coalitions that work toward preventing contamination throughout the supply chain.
The Association of Food and Drug Officials (AFDO) invited FMI to a meeting to develop data-driven goals for the Healthy People 2030 initiative, a national effort that sets objectives to improve the health and well-being of all people in the United States. This meeting brought together food safety professionals to support these Healthy People objectives in order to reduce infections caused by major foodborne pathogens, reduce severe allergic reactions and increase the proportion of consumers who follow key food safety practices.
Stakeholders from public health and regulatory departments, consumer groups, academia and industry participated in numerous workshops to identify areas of shared food safety responsibility. It is through this shared responsibility that food safety professionals can coordinate strategies for reducing foodborne illness.
In a presentation titled, “Industry Led Intervention Strategies,” FMI highlighted the efforts food retailers are taking to protect public health. Participants learned how FMI resources:
- Reduce food safety risk factors.
- Strengthen cleaning and sanitation practices.
- Improve food safety training and certification programs.
- Reduce pathogenic E. coli and Salmonella contamination in leafy greens.
- Mitigate Listeria, Norovirus, and Hepatitis A contamination.
Over the next decade, food retailers will play an important role in achieving the 2030 Healthy People objectives to reduce foodborne illness. While technological advancements are revolutionizing outbreak investigations and responses, sustaining strategic partnerships with regulators and consumers will be key to improving food safety behaviors and practices.