2016 IRAC Workshop on Food Access, Nutrition, and Risk of Foodborne Illness
Foodborne illness is a major public health problem in the United States and globally. People in both developed and developing countries suffer the consequences of foodborne illness, but to varying degrees. Rates of foodborne illness and their causative agents vary among developed and developing countries. The risk of contracting foodborne illness depends on many factors; for example, studies have identified lower socioeconomic status and resulting under-nutrition as factors linked to increased risk.
This IRAC workshop provided an opportunity for Federal agencies to discuss the interrelationships among food security (access), nutrition, and the risk of foodborne illness. Participants identified several research needs and opportunities for enhanced collaboration and coordination among federal food-nutrition and food-safety professionals. It is anticipated that enhanced interagency consideration of broader food-related issues will better guide food safety and nutrition policies and communication strategies to further improve public health.
Three broad areas were addressed in this workshop:
- Relationships Among Socioeconomic Status, Nutrition, and Susceptibility to Foodborne Illness: This session explored national and international studies on lower socioeconomic status, the link to nutrition and risk of infection from foodborne pathogens
- Emerging Science: Microbiome – a Link between Nutrition and Health: This session explored the role that diet, including pre- and probiotics, plays in influencing the microbiome, and the subsequent impact on obesity, chronic diseases and foodborne diseases
- Use of Food-Nutrition and Food-Safety Information – Opportunities in Community Outreach: This session addressed current efforts to better understand and address complex challenges of improving the health of underserved communities through federal programs. This session also addressed the current data and information needed to better target federal public health resources to improve community health.