Updated primer on foodborne illness released

Apr 7, 2004 (CIDRAP News) – An updated foodborne illness guide for physicans and nurses was written with an emphasis on "living in the post 9-11 environment," the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) said in announcing the book's release today.

The guide contains new sections on antibiotic-resistant Salmonella, toxoplasmosis, hepatitis A, norovirus, and intentional contamination, according to the American Medical Association (AMA), which helped prepare the book. Titled Diagnosis and Management of Foodborne Illnesses: A Primer for Physicians and Other Health Care Professionals, the guide is free to healthcare workers.

In an FDA news release, David Acheson, MD, of the FDA's Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition, commented, "Recent concerns about hepatitis A and norovirus outbreaks have emphasized the need for health professionals to be vigilant for foodborne pathogens, and this need is further emphasized by concerns about intentional contamination of food."

The AMA said the primer is designed to provide healthcare professionals with current, accurate information on the diagnosis, treatment, and reporting of foodborne illnesses. The guide also provides patient education materials and offers continuing education credits for physicians, nurses, and healthcare educators.

The FDA said three pathogens—Salmonella, Listeria, and Toxoplasma—cause more than 75% of fatal cases of foodborne illness. In addition to the five new sections, the new primer has an updated section on Listeria.

Officials said the primer was produced collaboratively by the AMA, the American Nurses Association, the FDA, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the US Department of Agriculture.

Paper copies of the guide can be obtained free through an AMA Web site (see link below). The material can also be downloaded from the AMA site.

See also:

The primer

AMA information about the primer with links to sections

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