Newswise — CHICAGO – Ensuring a safe food and water supply is the responsibility of consumers, health professionals, government and industry alike, according to an updated position paper from the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. The position paper recommends that registered dietitian nutritionists be active participants in creating a “global food safety culture.” The position paper “Food and Water Safety,” published in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, states:
It is the position of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics that all people should have access to a safe food and water supply. The Academy supports science-based food regulations and recommendations that are applied consistently across all foods and water regulated by all agencies and incorporate traceability and recall to limit food and waterborne outbreaks. Registered dietitian nutritionists and dietetic technicians, registered, are encouraged to participate in policy decisions, program development and implementation of a global food safety culture. The Academy’s position paper notes that the country’s food safety system “is challenged by changing demographics, consumer preference for convenience and variety and issues of concern in the commercial food chain and in regulatory systems.” The authors emphasize that the 2011 Food Safety Modernization Act mandates development and implementation of preventive measures across the food chain, including on farms, in production facilities and at retail establishments to create and sustain a culture of food safety. Amid a flood of food safety misinformation, registered dietitian nutritionists are a reliable source of credible, timely information. Their training integrates food and health messages in preventive and therapeutic settings. RDNs are leaders in delivering food safety messages to patients, pregnant women, seniors, children, clients in public venues and to the media. Delivering effective communication during and after outbreaks and recalls, providing credible information and educating consumers on good food safety practices are needed to make consumers a part of the food safety culture. The Academy has a consistent and longstanding tradition of supporting food safety education, providing resources and information for its members and the public, including Home Food Safety®, a unique partnership with ConAgra Foods (www.homefoodsafety.org). The program raises consumer awareness about the seriousness of food poisoning and provides solutions for easily and safely handling food. Home Food Safety also provides tools, presentations and other downloadable professional resources for RDNs and educators. The Academy’s updated position paper was written by registered dietitian nutritionists Mildred M. Cody, PhD, RD, LD, and Theresa Stretch, MS, RD, CP-FS. The position paper is available to the public on the Academy’s website. Interviews with registered dietitian nutritionists with expertise in food safety can be arranged by calling 312/899-4769 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. ### All registered dietitians are nutritionists – but not all nutritionists are registered dietitians. The Academy’s Board of Directors and Commission on Dietetic Registration have determined that those who hold the credential registered dietitian (RD) may optionally use “registered dietitian nutritionist” (RDN) instead. The two credentials have identical meanings. The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics is the world’s largest organization of food and nutrition professionals. The Academy is committed to improving the nation’s health and advancing the profession of dietetics through research, education and advocacy. Visit the Academy at www.eatright.org.