Food Safety and Nutrition

Situation

New Jersey residents need research based information in several areas related to health, including nutrition and food safety. Food borne illness is one of the greatest concerns of public health experts and the food industry. Actions are needed toward improving public health by improving the safety of food, (e.g., safe food handling practices). Many disease states are directly related to poor diet. Improving dietary behavior and physical activity can reduce the risk of disease.

Assumptions

Adopting safe food handling practices can reduce the incidence of food borne illness. When individuals adopt behaviors that promote health, like improved eating and increased physical activity, the risk for disease will decrease.

Expected Outcomes

Short Term
Individuals will gain awareness, knowledge, skills related to:

  • Improved attitudes and self perception about healthy eating
  • Increased knowledge of healthy food choices
  • Increased knowledge of benefits of physical activity
  • Increased knowledge related to food safety practices

Medium Term
Individuals will incorporate skills/change behaviors related to:

  • Increased adoption of healthy food choices, such as consumption of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, low-fat dairy and low-saturated fat foods
  • Increased adoption of low-fat cooking methods
  • Increased adoption of eating more meals at home
  • Increased participation in physical activity
  • Increased food safety practices

Long Term
Individuals will experience:

  • Experience healthier, more productive lives
  • Decreased weight and obesity
  • Experience decreased risk factors for nutrition-related health problems and chronic diseases that are affected by diet and physical activity for youth/adults
  • Fewer incidents of food borne illness

  1. Rutgers
  2. Executive Dean of Agriculture and Natural Resources
  3. School of Environmental and Biological Sciences