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WASHINGTON, DC -- In recognition of National Food Safety Education Month in September, the Food Marketing Institute distributed a bulletin yesterday to remind consumers of the many easy ways to prevent foodborne illnesses.
The announcement includes a variety of tips to help consumers keep their homes, kitchens, and families safe, ranging from what to look for and avoid when food shopping, to proper cleaning, refrigeration and preparation techniques.
"FMI is committed to initiatives focused on keeping our food supply safe, and consumer education is one of our top priorities," said Jill Hollingsworth, FMI's group v.p. of food safety programs. "Consumers are the final link in the food safety chain, and they play an important role in preventing foodborne illnesses through easy activities that can be a part of their daily routines."
FMI was a key link in the creation and development of the Partnership for Food Safety Education, whose award-winning Fight BAC campaign teaches the public basic measures to reduce foodborne illness. The partnership's Project Chill initiative also urges consumers to place thermometers in their refrigerators to ensure the temperature does not exceed 40oF, the level necessary to prevent the spread of bacteria, particularly listeria
The Chicago-based National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation (NRAEF) is also doing its part to encourage restaurant and foodservice professionals to participate in the 11th annual National Food Safety Education Month this September.
This year's theme, "Keep Hands Clean with Good Hygiene," focuses on proper handwashing procedures and how to emphasize their importance within the workplace. To help restaurant and foodservice establishments reinforce these safe handwashing practices, the NRAEF is including a coupon for a free Hygiene Essentials kit to anyone who purchases the ServSafe Essentials textbook (English with Exam Answer Sheet) now through October 2005 (while supplies last).
With support from Ecolab and FoodHandler Inc., the NRAEF developed a hygiene kit to provide operators with the tools to help them teach proper handwashing techniques to all employees. The Hygiene Essentials kit includes: Hand sanitizer (sponsored by Ecolab); disposable gloves (sponsored by FoodHandler Inc.); laminated English/Spanish handwashing sign; ServSafe logo bandanna; training pages from the ServSafe Employee Guide on hand-washing and using gloves properly; and a Hygiene Essentials Kit implementation sheet.
Launched in 1985, National Food Safety Education Month is an annual observance designed to heighten public awareness of foodborne illness and safe food-handling practices.