I was honored to represent the National Extension Association of Family and Consumer Sciences (NEAFCS) at the Partnership for Food Safety Education summit in Chicago the first part of March. The summit was a wonderful opportunity to network with other professionals who are engaged in food safety education.
As the president of NEAFCS, I represent over 2,000 extension educators throughout the United States who are actively engaged in consumer education. Food safety education has always been a priority for Extension, and as employees of the national land grant universities our mission is provide up to date researched based information to consumers.
As a national association, we compile the impact of our educators programming nationwide and have been consolidating that data into national impact statements that illustrate the breath of our educational efforts. Below are some highlights from a sample of the current programs sponsored by Extension:
Food Handler Education Program – ServSafe food safety training and certification program
Pennsylvania – 1,863 individuals certified for operation of their food service establishment.
Indiana – educators trained over 3,000 individuals who work in the food retail industry, assisting them to obtain certification as safe food handlers
Consumer Food Safety – Extension provides research-based information regarding food safety and storage through response to consumer inquiries
Ohio – 400 gardeners attended a one day workshop on increasing their knowledge of safe food practices
Nebraska – 125 participants attended “Bite When the Temperature is Right” learning how to calibrate a thermometer and use it when cooking meat and poultry
Cooking for Crowds –
Pennsylvania – trained volunteers from non-profit organization who serve meals to over 300,000 customers in a 3 month period, proper food safety practices
Hand Washing Education –
Idaho – basic hand washing taught to the hundreds of international athletes at the World Special Olympics, through use of “Germ City” an interactive program
Food Preservation and Canning –
Mississippi – educators teach “Basic Hazard Critical Control Points” training
South Dakota – following completion of food preservation workshops 88% of the participants adopted critical safe food handling practices
These are just a few examples of the educational effort of NEAFCS Extension Educators. If you would like to view our impact pieces please visit our website at www.neafcs.org. NEAFCS is very excited to be a part of the Partnership for Food Safety Education and we look forward to assisting in the efforts to educate consumer on the importance of safe food handling practices to reduce food borne illness.