Governmental Overview

Governmental overview began in 1906 with the passage of the pure Food and Drug Act and the Meat inspection Act, designed to make American food as safe as possible. in addition, two different governmental agencies are responsible for regulating and monitoring the safety of the U.S. food supply. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is responsible for ensuring the safety and whole-someness of all food except meat, poultry, and eggs. The Department of Agriculture monitors the safety of poultry, meat, and eggs and conducts inspections nationwide and inspects eggs and egg products.

If a child has:

It could be:

Ulcer pain, abdominal pain, fever, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea one week after poisoning Explosive watery diarrhea, abdominal cramps, dehydration Gastroenteritis, diarrhea, nausea/vomiting appearing one to six hours after eating Slurred speech, double vision, muscle paralysis appearing four to 36 hours after meal Cramps, fever, diarrhea, nausea/vomiting appearing one to five days after eating and lasting up to 10 days Nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea within six to 12 hours after eating, followed by low blood pressure and heart rate; severe itching, temperature reversal, numbness/tingling of extremities that may last months Watery diarrhea, nausea/vomiting appearing within hours to a week after eating; severe cases include blood diarrhea; enterhemorrhagic infection includes bloody diarrhea and kidney failure Explosive diarrhea, foul-smelling, greasy feces, stomach pain, gas, appetite loss, nausea and vomiting; incubation period one to two weeks Fever, headache, diarrhea, meningitis, conjunctivitis, miscarriage appearing within days to weeks after ingestion Burning mouth/extremities, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea within hours

Burning mouth/extremities, nausea/vomiting, diarrhea, muscle weakness, paralysis, breathing problems within minutes Six-72 hours after eating: Diarrhea, rumbling bowels, fever, vomiting, cramps Within minutes to hours: Itching, flushing cramps, diarrhea, nausea/vomiting, burning throat; severe infection includes low blood pressure and breathing problems One to seven days after eating: Gastroenteritis, diarrhea, nausea/vomiting, possible seizures

Between 30 minutes and six hours after eating: Explosive diarrhea, cramps, vomiting, but not longer than a day (usually in baked goods) Diarrhea, nausea/vomiting, fever followed by muscle pain and stiffness two to three weeks later Gastroenteritis, explosive diarrhea, nausea/vomiting cramps eight to 30 hours after eating; V. vulnificus can lead to fatal blood infection

One to two days after eating: Right lower quadrant pain, mimics appendicitis


Asiatic cholera Bacillus cereus Botulism

Campylobacteriosis Ciguatera

Enteric E. coii

Giardiasis Listeriosis

Neurotoxic shellfish poisoning Paralytic shellfish poisoning Salmonellosis Scrombroid poisoning


Staphylococcal food poisoning Trichinosis (pork)

Vibrio food poisoning (V. parahaemolyticus, V. vulnificus) Yersinia


To prevent the spread of food-borne diseases, consumers should:

• make sure food from animal sources is thoroughly cooked or pasteurized; avoid eating such foods raw or undercooked

• keep juices or drippings from raw meat, poultry, shellfish, or eggs from contaminating other food

• not leave potentially contaminated food for extended periods of time at temperatures that allow bacteria to grow

• promptly refrigerate leftovers and food prepared in advance

The single most important way to prevent food-borne illness is thorough cooking, which kills most food-borne bacteria, viruses and parasites. In addition, proper food preparation—washing hands, cutting board, and knife with soap and water right after handling raw meat, poultry, seafood, or eggs—will help stop the spread of contamination. Anyone who is sick with diarrhea or vomiting should not prepare food for others.


Meat, poultry, and eggs are most vulnerable to contamination during storage, preparation, cooking, and serving. To stay healthy, consumers should try to observe proper food handling and kitchen safety tips:

• Proper refrigeration Temperature in the refrigerator must be 40°F or below (0°F in the freezer). Cooling doesn't kill bacteria, but it stops their growth. Air should circulate around refrigerated items, and refrigerated food should always be wrapped to keep off bacteria in the air.

• Clean hands To avoid contamination by bacteria or other organisms when preparing food, hands should be washed thoroughly with soap and water before and after handling food.

• Clean utensils Cutting boards and utensils should be washed with hot soapy water before touching any other food with them.

• Thawing Meat and poultry should not be thawed at room temperature; instead, it can be thawed in a microwave oven or the refrigerator. Meat and poultry should be cooked right after thawing.

• Marinades Marinades from meat or poultry should not be served as sauces unless they have been cooked at a rolling boil for several minutes.

• Serving Meat and poultry should be served on a clean plate with a clean utensil to avoid contaminating the cooked food with its raw juices.

• Leftovers Poultry and meat should be cooled quickly when refrigerating leftovers; stuffed


poultry should not stand for long periods. Stuffing should be removed after cooking and promptly refrigerated.

• Eggs Cracked eggs should never be used because they may contain Salmonella bacteria. However, because even an uncracked egg may contain bacteria, eggs should always be cooked thoroughly. Raw eggs (such as in homemade Caesar salad dressing, eggnog, hollandaise sauce, etc.) should not be used. Eggs should be refrigerated in their cartons in the coldest part of the refrigerator, not on the refrigerator door.

• Mold Any food with mold should be thrown away, except for cheese, which may be eaten after the mold is trimmed off.

• Microwave A turntable should be used to rotate dishes as they cook; because microwave ovens heat food unevenly, cold spots in a food may harbor dangerous bacteria.

• Cleaning Wooden salad bowls should not be seasoned with oil, which can eventually become rancid. Can openers and blenders should be kept clean, and the sink should always be scrubbed after working with poultry or meat. Sponges in the kitchen for wiping dishes or countertops should be discarded after one week; they should never sit in water, which encourages bacterial growth. Sinks and counters should be cleaned with detergent containing bleach to kill harmful bacteria.


To keep hot foods safe, consumers should follow these guidelines from the U.S. Department of Agriculture:

• A meat thermometer should be used to make sure meats and poultry are cooked completely. The thermometer goes into the thickest part (avoiding fat and bone). Bacteria are killed at 160°F (poultry at 1 80°F or higher).

• Poultry should be cooked until it reaches 180 to

185°F or higher (or until the juices run clear or the leg moves easily in the socket). Poultry should not be cooked at a low temperature for a long period of time.

• Food should not be partially heated and then finished cooking later; half-cooked food may be warm enough to encourage bacterial growth but not hot enough to kill it. Subsequent cooking might not kill the bacteria.

• Consumers should allow at least one and a half times longer than usual to cook frozen foods that have not been pre-thawed.

• Hot foods must be kept at 140 to 160°F until serving time, especially those served in chafing dishes or warmers. Food should never be kept between 40° and 140°F for more than two hours, as this encourages bacterial growth.

• Leftovers should be thoroughly and evenly reheated; gravies should be brought to a rolling boil.

• The healthiest way to cook a steak is to precook it in a microwave on high for 30 to 90 seconds just before broiling or barbecuing, which reduces the formation of harmful amines. The juice should be discarded.


According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture's

Safety and Inspection Service, parents should report possible food poisoning in three situations:

• if the food was eaten at a large gathering

• if the food was from a restaurant, deli, sidewalk vendor, or other kitchen that serves more than a few people

• if the food is a commercial product (such as canned goods or frozen food), since contaminants may have affected an entire batch.

When making a report, officials need to know:

• parents' name, address, telephone number

• a detailed explanation of the problem

• when and where the food was eaten

• name and address of the place where the food was obtained

If the food is a commercial product, parents should provide:

• the manufacturer's name and address

• product's lot or batch number

• the USDA inspection stamp on the wrapper if the tainted food is meat or poultry; this will identify the plant where the food was made or packaged.

picnics are another potential trouble spot for food poisoning. parents should use an insulated cooler with an ice block or frozen gel-pack on top, placing foods that need to be kept coldest on the bottom. Food should be packed into the cooler right from the refrigerator. Each item should be wrapped separately in plastic and should not be placed directly on ice that is not of drinking-water quality. Raw fish, meat, or poultry should be separated so that raw meat drippings do not contaminate other food. All hot foods should be kept hot in an insulated dish or vacuum bottle.

once the family arrives at a picnic spot, the cooler should be kept in the shade with the lid on—not in the car's trunk. Utensils and food should be covered when not in use. Disposable wipes should be brought along to clean hands before and after food preparation. Food should not be unrefrigerated for longer than two hours or one hour if the temperature is above 85 °F.

fractures A break in the normal structure of a bone, which is among the most common injuries in children under age 12. Most bones are broken when children are playing or participating in sports. When children fall, the natural instinct is to throw the hands out in protection; this is why most fractures occur in the wrist, forearm, and above the elbow. Fractures generally cause fewer problems in children because the young bones are more flexible and better able to absorb shock. They also heal faster than adults' bones.

Children who participate in sports or are generally active are more likely to experience fractures. To reduce risks, the child should wear the recommended protective gear. other children likely to sustain bone fractures are those with an inherited condition known as osteogenesis imperfecta, characterized by bones that are brittle and more vulnerable to fracture.

Types of Fractures

A fracture can range from a hairline crack in the bone to a complete break, in which the bone is shattered into two or more pieces. Fractures can be described in the following ways:

• Complete fracture A bone that has broken into two pieces

• Greenstick fracture A bone cracked on one side only, not all the way through

• Single fracture A bone broken in one place

• Comminuted fracture A bone that is crushed or broken into more than two pieces

• Bending fracture A bone that bends but does not break, which occurs only in children

• Open (or compound) fracture A broken bone that penetrates the skin. Open fractures need to be cleaned thoroughly in the sterile environment of the operating room before they are set because the bone's exposure to the air may lead to infection.

• Closed fracture A broken bone that does not break the skin is called a closed fracture.

• Buckle fracture A bone that bends on one side, raising a buckle; this occurs only in young children.

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