In July, Eileen Haraminac, MS, an extension educator with Michigan State University, responded to the Partnership for Food Safety Education’s offer to BAC Fighters for a Don’t Wing It health fair kit. The kits were mailed out in late August.
Eileen put the kit into action when she partnered with the Macomb County (MI) Community Action Group – Macomb Food Program at one of their food distribution sites – the Centerline Towers Senior Apartments. They brought in the mobile food pantry to distribute fresh fruits and vegetables, milk, bread and other items for the residents.
The event brought out 75 seniors. As the seniors waited in line for the distribution, Eileen gathered them in small groups of 10 to discuss the Don’t Wing It brochure and to have short conversations about the use of the plastic bags at the meat counter. Eileen talked with the seniors about the poultry handling messages and the recipes from Don’t Wing It. She reports that most of the seniors were unaware of the spread of bacteria from rinsing poultry, and she thinks that it was effective to talk with them about the importance of safe minimum temperatures to kill bacteria.
Public health educator Michelle Ricci and her team at the Wake County, NC Communicable Disease Program are always seeking new opportunities to deliver food safety messages to consumers in the county. They reached out to the county’s communications office about doing a food safety segment for Wake TV — a program that connects visitors and residents to news, services, interviews, and event information. Wake TV programming is available through their YouTube Channel.
The county’s communications office went a step further and offered to produce four short videos on each of the core home food safety practices: Clean, Separate, Cook and Chill. The four videos use information from FightBAC.org and rely on talented Wake County co-workers as “actors”. A colleague offered the use of the kitchen in her new apartment and the communication office’s digital media and design services staff filmed and produced the videos. A local Food Lion store manager graciously allowed the office to shoot footage for the videos in his store.
The videos aired on Wake TV at the beginning of August 2017. There are plans to promote the videos on Wake County’s website as part of their September Food Safety Education Month efforts. The videos will also be featured on social media, with special promotion planned for the winter holidays.
Please click on the thumbnail images to play videos.
New Hampshire Teacher of the Year Bernadette Olsen teaches food and consumer science (FACS) at the David R. Cawley Middle School in Hookset, N.H. There she helps to grow students’ independent problem-solving skills in food safety and other topics.
She teaches a number of classes to the middle schoolers including the 6th grade Family and Consumer Science Exploratory Class, in which students practice safe and sanitary skills as they complete food lab cooking projects.
In her 7th grade Foods and Nutrition Class, students evaluate scientific information, learn to identify and use reliable resources, and develop skills and techniques to create nutritious, food-safe meals.
Eighth grade students study the effects of various factors on the local and world food supply, and gain an understanding of ingredient functions in the production of commercial food products. Students once again practice food-safe skills in class.
We met Bernadette this summer at the 2017 American Association of Food and Consumer Science national conference, where she was the AAFCS representative for New Hampshire.
BAC Fighters know that there are a wide variety of food safety education resources on FightBAC.org. The site features ready-to-go campaigns that require simply a printer for downloadable brochures and flyers, or a projector for ready-made PowerPoint presentations.
Educators may also personalize FightBAC resources using their creativity to come up with engaging new classes for their community, like Marilen Howard did. Marilen is Director of Nutrition Education & Training at Northeast Valley Health Corporation in California. She is not only familiar with the FightBAC resources; she knows how to use them to create specially-designed presentations to educate her WIC community.
Marilen’s Keep Your Food Safe WIC classes start with Core Four food safety information, using logos and graphics from the site to create an engaging PowerPoint presentation. Each slide encourages participants to learn about and then share their home food-safety strategies. Presenters evaluate understanding using the answers given during the virtual spin-the-food-safety-wheel game. For the finale, participants watch the Story of Your Dinner video.
To keep the children busy while they are waiting for their parents to finish the class, she prints and distributes FightBAC coloring pages.
Marilen created versions of the presentations in several of the languages spoken in her community.
What were the results of all this food safety creativity? In-person classes provided at 13 WIC sites, combined with self-learning home modules, reached over 12,000 WIC participants in April and May!
Marilen says, “We thank you so much for allowing us to use your free resources. It made our WIC participants’ class experience much better.”
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!”