AMA and FDA Team Up to Help Physicians Combat Spread of Foodborne Illness

On the heels of the recent nationwide E.coli outbreak that caused Americans across more than a dozen states to become ill and led to one death, the American Medical Association (AMA), in collaboration with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), today announced new online continuing medical education (CME) videos aimed at helping physicians combat the spread of foodborne illness. The new videos provide physicians with the information and resources they need to diagnose, treat, and report foodborne illnesses and educate patients on preventing foodborne illness.

“The CDC estimates that 48 million Americans are sickened by contaminated foods each year-leading to 128,000 hospitalizations and approximately 3,000 deaths. These staggering statistics reinforce the reason why the AMA and FDA are taking action to help ensure all of our frontline physicians are prepared when a patient with foodborne illness comes into their hospitals, clinics and emergency departments,” said AMA president David O. Barbe, MD. “Building on the AMA’s longstanding efforts urging physicians to remain informed on diagnosing and managing foodborne illness, the new videos will serve as an important reminder for physicians that they have a vital role in recognizing symptoms and reporting cases of foodborne illness to public health authorities for investigation-which speeds up the recognition of outbreaks and helps prevent further illnesses.”

The AMA and FDA are offering the online videos to physicians free of charge-one entitled, “What Physicians Need to Know About Foodborne Illness: Suspect, Identify, Treat, and Report”, and the second entitled, “Talking to Patients About Food Safety.” The video modules are intended for use by primary care and emergency medicine physicians who are most likely to see the index case of a potential food-related disease outbreak. Upon completion, physicians will be able to identify populations who are most susceptible to foodborne illness, describe recent significant foodborne outbreaks in the U.S., explain the steps taken in evaluating a patient with foodborne illness, identify common symptoms of foodborne illness in patients, and explain the importance of reporting foodborne illnesses to the health department.

To view both videos, visit the AMA’s Education Center website or the FDA’s Food Safety and Nutrition Resources for Healthcare Professionals webpage

Source: American Medical Association