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Guidelines for Companies in Food Safety Alerts

31 July 2013

US - The Council to Improve Foodborne Outbreak Response (CIFOR) has developed new guidelines to help companies aid the government in response to food safety alerts.

The CIFOR Foodborne Illness Response Guidelines for Owners, Operators and Managers of Food Establishments were developed by an ongoing public/private partnership consisting of experts from all levels of government and the food industry.

The purpose of the guidelines is to help outline, clarify and explain the recommended role for retail food establishment owners, operators and managers in a foodborne illness outbreak investigation and what they can expect after being notified of an outbreak.

The guidelines also provide a step-by-step approach that companies can take during the different phases of an outbreak investigation, including preparing an establishment to respond should an outbreak occur, identifying signs of a potential outbreak, helping government officials to investigate an outbreak, and following up after an outbreak investigation.

“When there is an outbreak of foodborne illness, the government and the food industry are of one mind. We have to find the cause and stop the outbreak,” said Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius.

“These guidelines and the continued work of CIFOR demonstrate key partnerships and our daily shared commitment to food safety and the health of consumers in the United States.”

“These CIFOR guidelines offer a clear pathway to success in industry’s and government’s efforts to ensure that the foods we produce and regulate are safe to eat,” said U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack.

“Both industry and government have a shared responsibility for the safety of our nation’s food supply. By outlining and clarifying specific roles and responsibilities during each outbreak, we develop greater trust and accountability among stakeholders and consumers.”

“The National Restaurant Association is proud to have played an active role in developing this resource in partnership with state, local and federal public health officials and other industry stakeholders,” said National Restaurant Association President and CEO Dawn Sweeney.

“The CIFOR Foodborne Illness Response Guidelines are an important tool for restaurant owners and operators, and reflect our industry’s commitment to protecting the public health.”

Food Marketing Institute President and CEO Leslie G. Sarasin, said: “Food safety is core to our principles in the food retail industry, and critical to ensuring the efficacy of our businesses.

“The CIFOR Industry Guidelines demonstrate collaboration between industry and public health professionals to respond more efficiently to the health needs of consumers. FMI is pleased to be part of the partnership.”

TheMeatSite News Desk

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