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National Restaurant Association - Agriculture secretary praises restaurants’ efforts on food safety, other issues

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Agriculture secretary praises restaurants’ efforts on food safety, other issues

The National Restaurant Association Sept. 19 welcomed U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack to its Board of Directors meeting in Washington, where he thanked the Association for its commitment and efforts to continue to expand nutritional options on restaurant menus.

"The National Restaurant Association is proud to partner with Secretary Vilsack and the U.S. Department of Agriculture on a number of initiatives to promote nutrition and healthy living," said Dawn Sweeney, President and CEO of the National Restaurant Association. “We will continue to play a proactive role in helping the industry address our nation’s healthy living challenges and provide more options for consumers, as we have done with our exciting new ‘Kids LiveWell’ initiative.”

Secretary Vilsack praised the National Restaurant Association for its “extraordinary work” to improve nutritional opportunities nationwide. He specifically cited the Association’s efforts working with the “Chefs Move to Schools” initiative, a part of First Lady Michelle Obama’s “Let’s Move” campaign. As a program partner, the National Restaurant Association has worked to pair chefs with schools to help develop menus that include healthier options, and educate parents and children on nutrition and healthy eating.

The National Restaurant Association is also a national strategic partner of USDA’s MyPlate initiative, working with USDA to promote the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans. The Association has been a participating member of the Dietary Guidelines Alliance, a partnership among leading health organizations and trade associations dedicated to providing consumers with concrete, practical advice on how to apply the guidelines to their lives.

The National Restaurant Association recently launched “Kids LiveWell,” a first-of-its kind voluntary nationwide initiative that showcases restaurants that offer healthful menu items for children. “Kids LiveWell” items can be found on HealthyDiningFinder.com. The nutrition criteria established for the program is based on the recommendations from the 2010 Dietary Guidelines, qualifying the Association as a national strategic partner of MyPlate.

Secretary Vilsack also thanked the National Restaurant Association for its support of the Food Safety Modernization Act, enacted into law earlier this year. The legislation represents meaningful improvements to the food safety system and focuses the Food and Drug Administration’s mission on prevention.

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