Welcome to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition’s (CFSAN) News For Educators! Check out our latest information and materials for educating your consumer groups.
The Dangers of Raw Juice. While many believe fresh juices sold at produce stands or health food stores are good for you, that’s not always the reality. The FDA has created Talking About Juice Safety: What You Need to Know to keep consumers up to date on food safety issues when buying and consuming juices. When some juices are not pasteurized or treated to kill harmful bacteria, consumption of them can result in life-threatening illnesses, particularly for children, the elderly, or those with serious health conditions. Consumers need to be especially careful when buying juices, such as cider, that are sold by the glass at apple orchards, farmers’ markets, roadside stands, juice bars, and some restaurants because these products do not require warning labels. Be sure to ask employees if the juice has been treated when there is no label. Review this printable and shareable resource to learn more about juice warning labels.
Learning About Nutrition Can Be Fun. Students can learn as they play when they visit the FDA’s Snack Shackdestination at Whyville, the award-winning online community for tweens. Student “citizens” can win Whyville “clams” (Whyville’s online currency) to use throughout the virtual community as they play. The two Snack Shack games, Label Lingo and Snack Sort, are designed to get 8 -15 year olds more engaged in reading and understanding the Nutrition Facts label. While playing these games, students win by using the label to answer challenge questions as they compare and sort through popular pantry items. Fun to play with others, these interactive games are great for getting groups of students involved in interpreting and using the Nutrition Facts label as a tool to compare snacks and make healthy food choices. Invite the tweens, parents, and teachers in your constituency to join the fun at the Snack Shack.
Cosmetics Safety. Students should be educated to develop the habit of reading labels and staying informed about their cosmetic products to ensure safe usage. FDA, in collaboration with the National Science Teachers Association, has developed a comprehensive series of webinars on cosmetics specifically tailored to students and teachers. These webinars provide an overview of cosmetic regulations and safety considerations when using cosmetics. For example, when labels list ingredients, there may be some preservatives. Students should know that preservatives in cosmetics, which prevent bacterial contamination and infections, are beneficial, because they can prevent the growth of harmful microorganisms. When labels promote a cosmetic product as being “natural” or “organic”, students should know that the FDA does not have regulations to define these terms and cautions that an ingredient’s source does not determine its safety. Many plants, whether or not they are organically grown, contain substances that may be toxic or allergenic. Help your educator constituents kick off the school year by sharing these extensive webinars on topics students are sure to find interesting.
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