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As consumers shop for the upcoming holiday season, they should also pick up the Holiday Food Safety Success Kit, a new resource available free online at www.HolidayFoodSafety.org. Additionally, food retailers across the United States will employ in-store and external customer outreach to publicize the kit’s availability.
“The kit is a practical solution for planning and enjoying successful holiday celebrations at home,” noted Leslie G. Sarasin, chairman of the Partnership for Food Safety Education, which set up the site, and president and CEO of the Arlington, Va.-based Food Marketing Institute (FMI).
Among the kit’s contents are information on buying turkey, thawing, cooking methods and recipes for leftovers; a holiday planner with a timeline and shopping lists; various menu options featuring tested recipes; and food safety and hand hygiene activities for children, as well as kid-oriented recipes, to include the entire family in a “food-safe” holiday celebration. For those with additional food safety questions, the kit also includes contact information at the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Meat and Poultry Hotline (1-888-MPHOTLINE) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) SAFEFOOD hotline (1-800-SAFEFOOD).
“We are offering retailers, food companies and health educators a turnkey holiday platform, filled with quality content, that also meets their customers’ interest in actionable safe food-handling information,” explained Shelley Feist, executive director of the Arlington-based partnership, which brings together industry associations; professional societies in food science, nutrition and health; consumer groups; the USDA; the Environmental Protection Agency; the Department of Health and Human Services; the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; and the FDA, to educate the public about safe food handling and preparation. “Our consumer research shows that shoppers welcome seeing reminders of safe food-handling practices where they shop for food.”
The partnership conducted in-store interviews this past May on the Holiday Food Safety Success Kit, in which they learned from consumers that such information would help assuage their fears preparing elaborate seasonal dinners. Shoppers also noted that having such a kit would cause them to feel better about their local supermarkets.
The over 60 “Be Food Safe” retailers in the partnership’s network, including Albertsons, LLC; DeCA; Food Lion, LLC; Hy-Vee; Giant-Landover/Stop & Shop; Jewel-Osco; Meijer, Inc.; Publix Super Market, Inc.; Roundy’s Supermarkets, Inc.; Safeway, Inc.; and Supervalu, will be encouraged to use audio scripts, articles, advertisements, large-format graphics and flyers to inform their customers about the kit.
Sponsors of the www.HolidayFoodSafety.org Web site include the National Turkey Federation (NTF), the Georgia Pecan Commission, the American Egg Board, FMI and the Produce Marketing Association.
“The National Turkey Federation appreciates the role turkey plays at the center of the plate during the holiday season, and saw this project as a great way to extend our long-time engagement with the partnership in helping consumers with good home food safety practices,” said Sherrie Rosenblatt, VP of marketing and communications at the Washington-based NTF.
Other initiatives undertaken by the Partnership for Food Safety Education include the successful, long-running “FightBAC!” program.