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NEWARK, Del. - Members of the Produce Marketing Association (PMA) here can license the newly-expanded "Be Food Safe" consumer food-safety education campaign free for one year, thanks to an agreement between PMA and the nonprofit Partnership for Food Safety Education.
More than 25 retailers representing as many as 5,200 stores in 46 states have agreed to participate in the Be Food Safe program, by featuring its core consumer food safety messages of "Clean", "Cook", "Separate" and "Chill" in bold graphics on in-store signage, brochures, fliers, packaging and other consumer materials.
PMA's supplier members can support the consumer education program and have access to its materials free for one year, without having to pay a licensing fee, in recognition of PMA's contributions to the campaign.
"With so many retailers already on board, produce suppliers have an opportunity to strengthen their customer relationships by partnering with their retail customers to promote consumers' food safety awareness," said PMA president Bryan Silbermann. "And with no licensing fee the first year, even our smallest members can join in."
In October 2006, PMA announced a multifaceted food safety program following a deadly series of foodborne illness outbreaks and product recalls linked to leafy greens. That program includes research to enhance growing and processing practices, enhanced education and training for all parts of the supply chain, and consumer communications aimed at rebuilding confidence in produce.
In April of this year, PMA committed $2 million to fund the newly-created Center for Produce Safety at the University of California, Davis. The center will coordinate, fund and disseminate research to enhance the safety of fresh produce, and enhance education and training throughout the supply chain.
"Be Food Safe" is a joint program of the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the partnership. Celebrating its tenth anniversary in 2007, the partnership is a coalition of USDA, Food and Drug Administration and other federal agencies, consumer groups and trade associations including PMA. PMA President Bryan Silbermann is the partnership's current chairman.
For more information, PMA members can visit www.pma.com/befoodsafe. To become licensed, PMA members can complete and submit the application found there. Retailers can learn more about the program by visiting www.befoodsafe.org/retailers.html.