BAC Fighter Jennifer Jackson is with the Anne Arundel County Department of Aging and Disabilities in Annapolis, Maryland. She told us, “We have a lot of fun speaking to people about food safety, and this new Don’t Wing It campaign really helped us inform them about how to practice food safety from store to table.”
Informative Fun for Older Americans Month
Jennifer and colleagues celebrated Older Americans Month in May with a fun and informative health fair booth featuring Don’t Wing It tips and guidelines. They estimate they reached about 350 people during the event.
Ask Me About My Skittles…
A display board presented the Don’t Wing It tips for the safe purchase and preparation of poultry. It also included a “Skittles” visual showing how quickly bacteria multiply when in the danger zone.
Cross-Contamination “Show and Tell”
At another station, using a package of chicken from the local grocery store, Jennifer and colleagues demonstrated how to use bags to prevent cross-contamination while shopping. This demo generated lots of questions about the proper use of the bags when handling poultry.
Heating Up Cookouts: Using a Food Thermometer
At the cookout station, Department of Aging staff demonstrated how to properly use a food thermometer while preparing food on their mini-grill. This demo received lots of positive feedback and inquiries about where to purchase a food thermometer.
Wash Hands, Not Poultry!
Many people were surprised about the recommendation to not wash poultry. Jennifer and her team talked with some older adults who were adamant about washing their chicken, but they were able to convince at least a few to change their practices after sharing Don’t Wing It information. Jennifer said, “I spoke with one lady who has been washing her chicken for over 30 years. After explaining to her the risks involved with washing poultry, she made a vow to stop washing chicken that day. She also took information for her daughter, who also washes her chicken.”
Remember This Chick?
Chelsea the Chicken was also in attendance, sunbathing at the top of the tent!
Jennifer shared: “We love all of the resources your organization provides and look forward to your next campaign!”
People in Ellis County, Kansas, will have a hard time missing information from the Don’t Wing It (DWI) food safety campaign thanks to Linda Beech, their local family and consumer sciences extension agent.
Don’t Wing It Is Ready for Action
Linda has been busy spreading the newly released consumer food safety information ever since participating in the Don’t Wing It webinar in April. This well-designed approach to poultry handling information, plus the new research, packaged together especially for BAC Fighters, makes it easy to spread the word.
She especially values the science behind the program – for example, the research on how people handle shopping carts in a way that can spread harmful bacteria, and the potential concentration of Campylobacter in just one drop of chicken juice, which is enough to make you sick.
Linda says that these point-by-point science references help her to teach in a way that people take seriously.
Spreading Don’t Wing It
She has written articles on how to prevent foodborne illness using the information in DWI for her local paper’s print and online versions. Linda has also posted on Facebook and spoken about Don’t Wing It on local radio. She featured DWI in the general county extension newsletter as well as one focused on seniors. Her mini-cable TV show about DWI reaches up to 10,000 subscribers in a three-county area. She uses the #DontWingIt hashtag in her Facebook posts about her own chicken BBQ!
Recipes with Food Safety Prompts
Linda is using the research on the success of adding food safety steps into recipe directions to beef up the recipes she uses in her newsletter. She convinced others in county extension of the value of this as well.
Facebook Comments Show Results
The comments to Linda’s posts on the extension FB page show how her outreach raises food safety awareness:
- Ok, I’m convinced… No more giving my chicken a bath.
- Great job, Linda! While I already follow most of food safety practices in your video, including cleaning the shopping cart handles, I never really connected OTHER PEOPLE’s drippy chicken packages not in a plastic bag to food safety in MY kitchen. This raises my awareness about what I should do to be responsible about food safety. Other things I do, not in your video…….I sanitize the front corners of my shopping cart, because sometimes I pull the cart instead of always pushing it; and I place meat packages in the bottom basket of the cart in the store when I have a 2 tier cart, similar to storing chicken on the lowest shelf in the fridge.
Check out more Don’t Wing It resources.
Share your story with us.
In the spring of 2016, BAC! Fighter Marie Josephine Paredes-Umali of Valencia, California presented Fight BAC! food safety lectures in the Philippines. She found an audience thirsty for this information and learned that there were few readily available food safety training resources.
Invitation to become a BAC Fighter!
Mayors, government coordinators, market vendors and vendors selling RTE foods made up her large audiences. For many, this was the first time they had been exposed to any food safety training. Participants received a Fight BAC! Core Four Practices poster, with extra copies to post in schools, public health centers, markets, and homes. Marie Josephine invited each of the participants to become BAC Fighters.
Food Market Audits
In Makati City, the government unit official requested a food safety audit of the Sunday Market. Marie Josephine noticed many unsafe food handling practices and commented on these during her next lecture. A few days later, she repeated the audit and noticed many positive changes. Armed with food safety information, the food vendors were ready and willing to improve their practices. The Red Cross local chapter will continue to audit the market vendors’ food handling practices.
Though she is “semi-retired”, Marie Josephine opened an office in Manila– MJPU Foodsafety Consultancy—which will will focus on food safety education and helping the Philippines with implementation of FSMA.
Almost 700 BAC Fighters participated in the 2017 BAC Fighter Survey. (Thank you!) Getting your input helps us to direct our resources toward your interests. Here are a few highlights:
Cooperative Extension Is Tops
Most BAC Fighters are from cooperative extension or university, closely followed by K-12 school systems. Local, state, and federal government combined made up about the same percentage of BAC Fighters as extension.
Up-Close and Personal Outreach
The largest percentage of BAC Fighters (33%) report that they educate 50 to 100 people in a year.
This likely means that they’re using small class formats, which explains why print materials are the tools used most heavily by BAC Fighters (at 78%). Of those who responded, 56% rated direct person-to-person contact and 53% rated classes or speaking engagements as their main tools.
Budget Stretchers to the Max
Most BAC Fighters (65%) are from organizations spending $10,000 or less in a year on educating consumers about safe food handling.
What Would You Do With…
BAC Fighters have many ideas about what they would do with more resources. The largest number said they would boost outreach with classes, health fairs, and community events. The next largest number of respondents said they would want more videos for teaching different audiences. The third largest group of respondents would use more giveaway items: food thermometers, color handouts, magnets, cutting boards.
“No Assessment” Still Ranks Too High
BAC Fighters use many methods to assess efforts, but some have no formal method of measuring the success of their work. The largest group of respondents uses feedback, evaluations, and surveys; the next largest group uses pre- and post-tests; the third largest group of BAC Fighters said they do no assessment; the fourth largest group reported using observation.
Helping Build Community
About 12% of BAC Fighters are ready to share a story with us about their work and have it featured in our blog. Over three times that many, 40%, said they may be willing to share a story. And about a quarter of BAC Fighters said they would be interested in talking to us about getting more involved in efforts to improve food safety education.
Would you be willing to share your outreach story? Help build the BAC Fighter community!
It’s easy. Just visit the Your Story submission page.
Betty Yaohua Feng, is a Postdoctoral Researcher in the Department of Food Science and Technology at the University of California, Davis. She presented two sessions related to Positive Deviance at CFSEC2017.
Her research investigates the effectiveness of positive deviance interventions on changing consumers’ safe food handling attitudes and behaviors.
For those unfamiliar with the theory, Positive Deviance is based on the observation that, in every community, there are certain individuals whose uncommon practices (in this case- correct food safety behaviors) enable them to find better solutions to problems than their neighbors or colleagues, despite having access to the same resources.
The goals are to identifying best practices on how to reach these individuals and then to work with these “Positive Deviants” to promote food safety in a community or group.
Betty shares a story from her research:
A few years ago, I piloted the Positive Deviance approach in classes with several different groups of people with diabetes. The classes covered the importance of food safety in diabetes. “Doreen,” one of the group members, was a 62-year-old woman with Type-2 Diabetes. She had never heard that having diabetes put you at higher risk for food borne illness. This was important news to her.
She attended all of the three group sessions offered. Doreen shared that before she came to the classes, she never realized that she should wash the apples she brought home from the supermarket before eating them. She was surprised to learn that. Doreen said, “They are so shiny and I only buy from big chains, so I assumed they were clean and ready to eat. I didn’t know they needed to be washed.”
Before and after the series, we gave food safety knowledge pre- and post- tests, and Doreen did very well with the post-test. Before the last session, she asked if I would like to go to her church and present food safety information to her friends and family and community members. This was very encouraging to me, as an educator. It is unlikely that before she attended the classes she would have invited a food safety expert to present information to her local congregation.
Doreen’s positive deviance was influencing her community!