Food Safety Professionals Play Essential Role in Protecting Consumers

WASHINGTON–(BUSINESS WIRE)–As the world’s food production systems modernize and become more global,
properly trained and certified food safety professionals play an
increasingly critical role in preventing foodborne illnesses.

“The risk of food contamination is always present, from farms to our
tables”

Advancements in food science and technology have dramatically increased
the yields of food producers over the last several decades, helping meet
the fast-growing global demand for food. According to the United
Nations,
total food production in the United States alone went from
287 million metric tons in 1965 to more than 674 million metric tons in
2010.

The U.S.
Center for Disease Control
and Prevention estimates 48 million
people in America got sick in 2011 from foodborne illnesses, with
128,000 being hospitalized and 3,000 deaths. This is a significant
decrease from the total of 78 million cases in 1999, thanks to improved
regulation and oversight.

To keep consumers safe, food safety professionals monitor the food
supply to ensure that they are not exposed to foodborne illness
throughout the food chain. These professionals are trained to enforce
standards set by various national agencies such as the U.S. Food
and Drug Administration
(FDA) and the Canadian
Food Safety Assessment Program
, as well as state, provincial, and
local governments.

Organizations such as the National Registry of Food Safety Professionals
(NRFSP), a member of the Institute for Credentialing Excellence (ICE),
help uphold these regulations by maintaining certification programs for
food safety professionals, ensuring they have the knowledge to assess
whether ingredients, processes, and facilities are safe.

“The risk of food contamination is always present, from farms to our
tables,” said NRFSP CEO Larry Lynch. “As our food supply systems become
more complex, food safety professionals are vital in making sure what we
eat is safe every step along the way. Armed with knowledge of federal,
state, and local standards and regulations, certified food safety
professionals help food producers and retail managers and handlers avoid
spreading potentially catastrophic diseases.”

As food production has advanced, so have the regulations that ensure its
safety. The U.S. Food
Safety Modernization Act
, signed into law in 2011, has tasked the
FDA with creating and implementing new standards and safety systems.
Through alliances with state and local agencies, the food industry, and
academia, the agency has been able to shift its focus from responding to
contamination to preventing it. Education and enforcement systems have
been updated to keep up with food protection standards. It is these
standards that food safety professionals work to uphold.

“The broader food science community also works to create safe foods and
ensure a safe food system for consumers. As such, food scientists and
technologists equally need to stay apprised of the latest food safety
developments,” said Bob Moore, CAE, Vice President of Knowledge
Learning Experiences at the Institute of Food Technologists (IFT), an
ICE member organization. “In addition to our existing food safety
education and resources, we are launching a comprehensive Certified Food
Scientist certification program later this year to formally assess that
professionals have requisite applied knowledge of the eight food science
domains – food safety being one of them.”

Through advancements in safety standards and the vigilance of certified
food safety professionals, foodborne illnesses will continue to be
prevented and controlled. For more information about how certified
professionals are protecting the public in a wide range of industries,
visit www.credentialingexcellence.org.

About the Institute for Credentialing Excellence and the National
Commission for Certifying Agencies

Established in 1977, Institute for Credentialing Excellence (ICE)
(formerly the National Organization for Competency Assurance) is the
leading international membership organization representing the
credentialing community. ICE fulfills its mission through the delivery
of education and training programs, in setting quality standards for
credentialing, and by providing accreditation services through its
accreditation division, the National Commission for Certifying Agencies
(NCCA). The ICE membership is composed of credentialing organizations,
testing companies, and individual professional development consultants.
ICE and NCCA are based in Washington, DC. For further information,
please visit www.credentialingexcellence.org.

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