A Food Safety Training and Education grant yields benefits for Michigan consumers
Every year, the Food and Dairy Division of Michigan’s Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD) offers a grant for Food Safety Training and Education.
BAC Fighter Jeanne M. Hausler reports that these grants have allowed development of consumer-facing materials that target Michigan residents.
Another major benefit of the program to Michigan consumers is the improved food safety knowledge among employees of Michigan’s retail grocery stores and restaurants.
The Michigan Farmers Market Association is among the winners of the 2014 grant. They plan to provide training and education to consumers for food safety at farmers markets. Click here for a list of the rest of the 2014 grantees.
Thank you Jeanne and your team at MDARD for funding these amazing projects in food safety education!
Connecticut BAC Fighters inform entire school
Julia Cronin planned a middle school class project that ensured food safety information was spread beyond the walls of her classroom to the entire K- 8 student body of Integrated Day Charter School in Norwich, Connecticut.
Julia, a science teacher, partnered with an english/language arts teacher to have students create Food Safety/Food Choice information brochures. The students used information they learned in class and from online research to create the brochures. One of their favorite sources was the www.fightbac.org website! Once the brochures were created, the students were instructed to share information with their classmates. In this way, the 8th grade students were able to reach their peers and younger classmates.
Julia reflected on the project, “The best part of it all was watching them in the lunchroom teaching the younger students about why they needed to wash their hands and why they should include an ice-pack in their lunchbox.”
She found that once students learned what could happen when food is mishandled, they had ownership of the material and were more motivated to make changes.
Food Safety Instructor Commits to Reaching Multiple Audiences
BAC Fighter, Sujit Dey is committed to sharing food safety messages with multiple audiences. As a food safety instructor for the U.S. Embassy in Dhaka, Bangladesh, Sujit teaches food safety at local schools and restaurants.
In his outreach with kids, Sujit focuses on handwashing. He visits local educational institutions to demonstrate proper practices. Both students and parents take home valuable lessons in hand hygiene.
He also recently taught a food safety course for chefs, managers, and restaurant workers of 15 Dhaka – area restaurants. The day long course covered how to prepare, cook, serve, and store food safely.
Thanks Sujit for sharing food safety and hand hygiene messages!
Shelley Feist, Executive Director of the Partnership for Food Safety Education, discusses World Health Day 2015.
The World Health Day has set aside April 7 to focus on food safety from farm to plate— the theme of World Health Day 2015. WHO says the day focuses on “demonstrating the importance of food safety along the whole length of the food chain in a globalized world, from production and transport, to preparation and consumption.”
For its’ part, the non-profit Partnership for Food Safety Education will be working through social media on April 7 to recognize and pay tribute to the thousands of health and food safety educators, teachers, and community leaders, that work to teach consumers about the importance of safe food handling to reducing risk of illness – especially for young children and other vulnerable populations.
WHO’s 10 Facts on Food Safety include that “everybody has a role to play in keeping food safe”, (Fact 9) and “consumers should be well informed on food safety practices,” (Fact 10). These are two important facts that sometimes get pushed down in priority when the food industry is focusing on production, transport, and sales of food. But these two facts are the basis for the work of the Partnership and its network of BAC Fighters in the United States.
And we agree with WHO’s statement that “People should make informed and wise food choices and adopt adequate behaviors. They should know common food hazards and how to handle food safely, using the information provided in food labelling.” But as any consumer knows, labels on food might give you some of the steps to keeping food safe (it might give you the safe end-point temperature, for example), but protecting one’s health includes preparing for handling food by first washing hands thoroughly with soap and running water whenever possible; using a food thermometer to measure if food has reached a safe temperature –not guessing based on whether it looks hot; and being aware of how actions at home might spread harmful bacteria from a raw food to a surface or to hands, and other methods of cross-contamination.
In the United States consumers benefit from a required meat and poultry safe handling label. Consumers should always take notice of the label, and encourage children to read the label with them when they prepare these products. For the full range of simple but critical steps to reducing risk of foodborne illness, consumers should turn to Clean, Separate, Cook and Chill, and to fightbac.org as a source to be informed about and involved as active partners in the food safety chain of prevention.
Moriah and Reba, two high school students from the Bremer County, Iowa Tri-River Trendsetters 4-H Club used Fight BAC! materials to teach thirteen young Cloverbuds about food safety. The Cloverbuds got a kick out of the BAC story – Moriah and Reba used silly voices to tell a story about harmful foodborne bacteria. Moriah and Reba went the extra mile, making a coloring book for each child in the group.
Moriah will use what she learned about the core four food safety practices in the upcoming 4-H fair when she submits a project on food safety. The Partnership for Food Safety Education salutes Moriah and Reba for their work to Fight BAC!