By: Howard Seltzer, Division of Education, Outreach, and Information, Office of Analytics and Outreach, Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition, FDA
FDA’s Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition (CFSAN) has transformed its Education Resource Library into a catalog of nearly 300 publications and videos covering food safety, nutrition, cosmetic safety, dietary supplements, and industry information, including food defense.
The many items in the Library are listed alphabetically by title, but a system of filters allows users to quickly drill down to items that meet their needs. For example, an expectant mother who is concerned about protecting herself and her baby from foodborne illness can use the Library to search for resources about food safety and pregnancy. To find the information she needs, she can use the filters to create a narrowed list of food safety titles, i.e., clicking on:
- Food Safety
- Consumers/General Public
- Orderable Hard Copies
Then “Apply,” and a new list of food safety publications will appear. Scrolling down, she’ll find Food Safety for Pregnant Women, a 20-page booklet that explains why food safety is critical for pregnant women and their unborn babies, low-risk vs. high-risk food choices, and how to handle foods as safely as possible while pregnant. To download or order a free copy, she can follow the prompts on the site.
In another example, a physician could use the Library to search for materials that offer guidance when counseling a patient who’s trying to understand more about nutrition. He or she can access the catalog and click on these filters:
- Physicians and Healthcare Providers,
- PDF Downloads,
After clicking “Apply”, the results will include a variety of downloadable materials about using the Nutrition Facts Label, including Understanding and Using the Nutrition Facts Label and Key Nutrients and Your Health, both developed in collaboration with the American Medical Association for a continuing medical education project to help doctors counsel patients.
The Education Resource Library catalog is designed to make FDA/CFSAN’s wide range of public health education information more accessible for individuals seeking science-based food safety, nutrition, and cosmetic safety information, whether for professional or personal reasons. All the materials, except videos, are available for download or they can be ordered if copies are available.