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AMA Launches New Foodborne Illness Program for MDs and Patients

Wednesday, January 24, 2001

The Partnership for Food Safety, of which AMI was a founding member, along with the American Medical Association, CDC, FDA and FSIS, today announced a primer titled "Diagnosis and Management of Foodborne Illnesses: A Primer for Physicians."
The organizations collaborated on the primer as part of the 1997 President’s National Food Safety Initiative.
The kit was created for primary care physicians and other health care providers who are most likely to see the first cases of potential food-related disease outbreak. It contains charts outlining different illnesses, the symptoms, treatment and foods with which it is associated. The primer also contains a FIGHT BAC! Brochure for patients that explains who is at risk, the most common types of foodborne illness and simple steps for food safety.
At a press conference today at the National Press Club, Dr. J. Edward Hill, a family physician from Tupelo, MS, said the kit will be used as a teaching as a teaching tool for the medical community. In fact, Hill said he already is using the primer with his own residents at North Mississippi Medical Center. There are 15,000 copies published and ready for distribution. The primer also will be available on the AMA web site at http://www.ama-assn.org/foodborne, Hill said.
Physicians play a key role in the prevention as well as the early diagnosis of foodborne illness since they are most often in contact with the at-risk populations the illnesses can effect, Hill noted.
Those considered at-risk for certain of foodborne illnesses are the very young, the elderly, the immunocompromised and pregnant women.
The Partnership for Food Safety Education is a public-private partnership created to reduce the incidence of foodborne illness by educating Americans about safe food handling practices. AMI is a founding member of the Partnership for Food Safety Education. AMI's members believe food safety is a shared responsibility among industry, government and consumers.
The Fight BAC! brochure “should be in every kitchen in America,” Hill said.

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