Partnership & History

Board of Directors September 2017

About Us

The Partnership for Food Safety Education develops and promotes effective education programs to reduce foodborne illness risk for consumers.

What We Do

The Partnership for Food Safety Education delivers trusted, science-based behavioral health messaging and a network of resources that support consumers in their efforts to reduce risk of foodborne illness. We work with an active network of 13,000 health and food safety educators – we call them BAC Fighters!- and support them by making their work more visible, collaborative, and effective. These BAC Fighters are connecting each year with an estimated 8.5 million consumers –helping them to protect their health through safe food handling and hand hygiene. See “Who is educating consumers about reducing risk of foodborne illness.” Thanks to the support of our 26 Partner Organizations and Federal Liaisons, we’re able to help millions of consumers keep top-of-mind the preventive practices that destroy or hinder the growth and spread of dangerous foodborne pathogens that can cause serious illness and even death.

PFSE History

On May 12, 1997, federal and state government, industry, and consumer leaders signed a Memorandum of Understanding pledging cooperation in the development of science-based, consumer-oriented messages to promote safe food handling practices in the United States. Born out of a recognition that “no single private or public entity commands the creative, human and financial resources to mount a major, high-impact safe food handling campaign,” the Partnership for Food Safety Education was conceived to “bring together the necessary resources to create, launch and maintain such a broad food safety educational effort.”

The Partnership did not waste time in getting started on this critical mission. By the end of 1997, the Partnership’s experts had settled on the “core four” food safety messages of Clean, Separate, Cook and Chill as the cornerstone of the new national consumer outreach campaign. The campaign — Fight BAC!®, Keep Food Safe from Bacteria—was released in 1998.

In 2000, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services incorporated the four Fight BAC!® messages into the Healthy People 2010 Initiative. In 2005, the U.S. Department of Agriculture referred to Fight BAC!® as a resource for consumers in the Dietary Guidelines for All Americans.

Today, the Partnership continues to steward the Fight BAC!® campaign, developing a food safety education program that draws on up-to-date, scientifically based recommendations and an extensive consumer research process. The Partnership maintains Fight BAC!® materials fully accessible online at its website www.fightbac.org and these materials are utilized by a growing national network of consumers, teachers, dietitians, public health officials and extension agents across the United States. PFSE Partners include leading consumer groups, food industry associations, commodity groups, and professional associations in the food sciences and nutrition, who leverage their unique resource and communications networks to contribute to the Partnership’s mission.  In 2003, the Partnership was established as a separate not-for-profit 501(c)(3) organization.

Why We’re Successful

It’s who we are and how we work that makes the Partnership so successful:

  • Our food safety messages for consumers are rooted in science.
  • We convene scientific and communications experts to develop concise, actionable food safety education materials for consumers.
  • We offer free resources and free webinars, and host the leading national conference for food safety educators in the United States.

The Partnership is funded by contributions, grants, and in-kind support for special projects provided by corporations, government agencies, independent foundations, and other non-profit organizations.

The Partnership is governed by a volunteer Board of Directors.

Accountability and Transparency

The Partnership is recognized as a Guide Star Exchange Platinum Participant.

Annual Reports

PFSE annual report image

2016 Annual Report