Family & Consumer Sciences
Food safety is an action of applying scientific principles in handling, preparation, and storage of food to prevent foodborne illness. Foodborne illness is any illness resulting from foods that people have eaten. The hazards causing foodborne illness are bacteria, viruses, parasites, and toxins from bacteria, plants, animals, or environment. The symptoms of foodborne illness are nausea, abdominal pain, vomiting, diarrhea, fever, headache, or tiredness. Foodborne illness can result in permanent health consequence such as kidney failure or even death, especially to high risk populations, which are children, elderly people, pregnant women, and individuals with weakened immune systems.
Based on the data from the Guam Public Health and Social Services (GPHSS), the cases of foodborne illness occurred on Guam are estimated between 13,000 and 152,000 each year. The economic cost is estimated from $5.1 to 42.6 million per year. About sixty percentage of foodborne illness on Guam occurs in provide homes. The frequency of foodborne illness on Guam is higher than that in the states. In the United States, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimate 76 million cases of foodborne illness per year, resulting in 325,000 hospitalization and 5,000 deaths.
Foodborne illness is preventable. Our food safety program provides food safety education to general consumers, focusing on food safety principles and five key food-handling practices:
Kelaguen is unique and delicious Chamorro dish by mixing meat with lemon, onions, hot peppers, and grated coconuts. Unfortunately, kelaguen is identified by GPHSS as one of leading vehicles causing foodborne illness on Guam. The cases of foodborne illness associated with kelaguen are estimated over 1,000 per year. Chicken, fish, and shrimp kelaguen each accounted for about 30% of outbreaks and cases of kelaguen foodborne illnesses. Chicken kelaguen results in the number of foodborne illness about 4-6 times higher than that from shrimp and fish kelaguen. About eighty three percentage of kelaguen boodborne illness is from private homes.
Our food safety program provides a special food safety education on kelaguen to general consumers, food workers, and food safety educators focusing on pathogen control and recommendations of using lemon in kelaguen preparation.
Home food preservation program is to provide various processing technology to farmers, entrepreneurs, and general consumers to safely process food at homes. The home food processing education includes canning, pickling, drying, freezing, sausage making, and fruit juicing processing.
The Food System Resiliency for Children’s Healthy Living Program, or CHL Food Systems, is working to increase food and nutrition security and healthy diets among children in Guam. The program comes at a time of rising food costs and new environmental and post-pandemic challenges that influence food access and availability for children and families.
Over a five-year span concluding in 2026, the program will create a model of the local food supply chain. This model can then provide guidance toward decreasing food waste and improving food and nutrition security, dietary patterns, and health among children.
The grant will also guide the nutrition education programs offered to the community under UOG Cooperative Extension & Outreach.
This U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Institute of Food & Agriculture-funded project in Guam is one of five Pacific locations for the program under the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa.
The first phase of the program, known as the Children’s Healthy Living Program, resulted in a decrease in young child obesity in the Pacific region.
Learn more about CHL at www.chl-pacific.org.
An objective of the program is to train a next generation of food and nutrition resiliency professionals in the U.S.-affiliated Pacific.
Kristi Hammond, right, a St. John’s School and UOG alumna with a master’s in sustainable agriculture, food, and natural resources, and Hannah Shai, left, who holds a Master of Public Health in nutrition, were the Guam and Northern Mariana Islands selectees, respectively, for the CHL Food Systems graduate assistantship.
The program is funding their completion of a Ph.D. in nutritional sciences at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa.
Tanisha F. Aflague, Ph.D., RDN
Guam Lead Investigator, CHL Food Systems
Tel: (671) 735-2026
Guam Project Manager, CHL Food Systems
Family Resiliency Program (part of Consumer & Family Sciences), was created from a need to offer educational support to individuals and families to help overcome stressful or challenging life circumstances.
Our programs help strengthen the family unit through evidence based approaches and curriculum adopted from other extension entities often delivered through group interactive workshops/demonstrations in a community based learning environment or through partner organizations.
The program focuses on strengthening families by addressing topics ranging from healthy aging (Keys to Embracing Aging Project), financial literacy and employability skills training (Life Skills for Teens), relationship building, support and educational resources for families at risk for behavioral health challenges and grandparents raising children.
The Farmer Focus Project, launched in 2021, is working to raise awareness about farmer stress and mental health in Guam and the rest of Micronesia, develop easily accessible resources for agriculture communities in the Pacific region, and improve the overall well-being of those in our agricultural community.
To learn more about the Children's Healthy Living Program, please visit www.chl-pacific.org
Utilizing software based on nutrition research from universities worldwide, UOG Cooperative Extension & Outreach will create a label from analysis of the product contents and serving size.
Drop-off location: Agriculture & Life Sciences Building, Room 113F.
Drop-off hours: Monday-Friday 8:30AM-3:30PM
Sample turnaround time: Four to seven work days.
Cost: Per Nutrition Label: $20.00
Contact: Clarissa Barcinas, (671) 735-2029, email@example.com
Mangilao, Guam 96913
The University of Guam is a U.S. Land Grant and Sea Grant Institution accredited by the WASC Senior College and University Commission. UOG is an equal opportunity provider and employer committed to diversity, equity and inclusion through island wisdom values of inadahi yan inagofli'e: respect, compassion, and community.