The Partnership for Food Safety Education is led by a skilled volunteer Board of Directors. The Board of Directors’ expertise and leadership furthers our mission to end illness and death from foodborne illness in the United States.
Kathy Means, CAE, Chairman (elected May 2018), Vice President of Demand Creation and Consumer Affairs- Produce Marketing Association
Why I support PFSE
Consumers deserve accurate, practical information about how to handle food safely to prevent foodborne illness. The many, diverse educators that teach about safe food handling, collectively known as the BAC! Fighters, deserve resources and support for their consumer outreach. Preventing foodborne illness is as simple as following key food handling practices, and it’s as complex as any effort to change consumer behavior.
That’s why the food industry, U.S. government agencies, and consumer organizations came together in the late 1990s to found the nonprofit Partnership for Food Safety Education (PFSE). I’m proud to have been a part of this since its inception, and I’m blown away by the commitment and passion BAC! Fighters demonstrate every day to help consumers handle food safely and reduce their risk of foodborne illness, which can range from an annoying gastro problem to deadly illness. Take a look at their stories.
Everyone is part of the food safety chain. Industry must do its part to produce safe food. Government must to its part. And, consumers have a role to play as well.
The PFSE is devoted to this cause: Together: A Food Safe America. The Partnership provides free, science-based, consumer-tested messaging on safe food handling. It covers all foods. It is aligned with safety messaging from the government and leading scientists. And it’s the only organization that brings together the unique collection of BAC! Fighters, from educators to health professionals to cooperative extension staff and more.
Having consistent, repeated messaging that consumers can trust is critical to changing their food handling behavior. That’s the reason the PFSE exists. We can be more effective together than we can separately. One of the reasons PMA was on board with the PFSE from the beginning is that we couldn’t imagine the cacophony of every food/commodity organization, every government agency, and every consumer advocate creating its own messaging around safe food handling. And we couldn’t imagine tackling this on our own. We had to make this easier, more credible, more effective, and more powerful together. And, thus, the PFSE was born.
I believe working together is better. And I believe we need the PFSE to provide resources and a home for the BAC! Fighters who come from so many different organizations. If you believe it as well, please join us. You can email me, email@example.com, or PFSE executive director Shelley Feist, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thomas Gremillion, Vice Chair (elected May 2018), Director, Food Policy Institute, Consumer Federation of America
Patricia Buck, Executive Director – Center for Foodborne Illness Research & Prevention
Harold Chase, Legislative Director – NSF International
Dan Fone, Senior Director, US Food Safety – WalMart Stores
Shauna C. Henley, PhD, Family & Consumer Sciences Educator, University of Maryland Extension
Howard Magwire, Consultant
Steven Mandernach, Executive Director, Association of Food and Drug Officials
Michael Roberson, MS, CFS, CP-FS, Director of Corporate Quality Assurance, Publix Super Markets, Inc.
Helping Advance Food Safety Through the Partnership
Food safety is a shared responsibility for everyone involved throughout the food system. The Partnership for Food Safety Education helps advance our mutual efforts to provide customers safe, high quality food on a consistent basis. Cherished family recipes are passed down from one generation to the next. As I look through some of my family’s recipes, it is comforting to know there was a focus of food safety from decades ago. Few of us today were afforded the opportunity to be exposed to the family farm. While helping tend to chores in my youth, I always remember the strong women in my family with strict standards of cleanliness and personal hygiene prior to being allowed into the kitchen or sitting down at the family dinner table. My days in Troop “Ole” 97 with The Boy Scouts of America helped stress the importance of food safety, especially in Cooking Merit Badge. Whether we were canoeing down a river for an overnight excursion, preparing for a week-long trek to Philmont Scout Ranch, or attending the National Jamboree, food safety was always important. In fact, Scouting helped stimulate my own interests for cooking and learning more about agriculture and the food industry.
Customers and their families today may not have experienced life on the family farm, Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, Future Farmers of America, or participated in a home economics class. The Partnership for Food Safety Education has assumed the primary platform for helping advance food safety at home and in our communities through the core principles of Clean – Separate – Cook – Chill. Today’s retail grocers have a responsibility to source safe food, maintain food safety throughout the storage and handling, and also help inform our customers about safe handling practices. These food safety practices are important in the family kitchen, youth soccer leagues, church pot-luck dinners, as well as the food banks so we can help others in the communities we serve. From farm to fork, boat to throat, and truck to trunk, the food safety principles of the Partnership transcend the entire food system into our customer’s homes and throughout the community so that each meal is fully enjoyed.
The collaborative process of the Partnership for Food Safety Education helps advance food safety for everyone involved with the food system. Come be part of the Partnership and help make a difference!
Director of Corporate Quality Assurance
Publix Super Markets, Inc.
David Tharp, CAE, Executive Director and CEO – International Association for Food Protection
Hilary Thesmar, PhD, RD, CFS, and Vice President of Food Safety Programs- Food Marketing Institute
For most food safety experts, the answer to that question might be “a great resource for consumer education material”, or “the host of a great conference”, or “my go-to place for food safety curricula for K-12”. For me the Partnership for Food Safety Education (PFSE) has been critical to consumer food safety education, but on a personal level, the organization and the people have been trusted colleagues and have helped me build my career over the past fifteen years.
As a young food safety expert and new to the DC world of trade associations, my boss’ boss, in Chicago (who was on the board of the Partnership) would ask me to attend meetings when he could not attend. Considering this an honor, I would gratefully attend the meeting, take copious notes and send a report back to him about the meeting. As this became a more frequent event, I found my voice and participated in the discussions always providing reports back to the decision makers at the time.
As projects were assigned, I volunteered. Through these activities, I made friends with other members of PFSE and found that all of us cared deeply about making a difference in improving the safety of our food supply and protecting public health. Our jobs might have been very different, our backgrounds and even how we approached issues, but our goal was always the same – to decrease foodborne illness.
I have changed jobs twice but am still in DC at a trade association and still working with PFSE. Now I am on the PFSE Board representing the Food Marketing Institute and I am joined by many people who have given years of service in support of consumer health. The goal of making a difference and reducing the risk of foodborne illness is the same. I have learned many lessons from my boss’ boss who has long since retired, to the many outstanding colleagues I have worked with over the years. I have been very fortunate that the one thing that has been consistent throughout my career has been the Partnership for Food Safety Education. Why? Because it is a great organization and because it makes a difference in the health of Americans.
William L. Weichelt, Director, Food Safety & Industry Relations, National Restaurant Association