|Deirdre Schlunegger, CEO of STOP Foodborne Illness|
What is the Food Safety Culture Club and what does it mean? Long before it was trending, STOP Foodborne Illness was talking about and cultivating food safety culture. We intimately know and share the compelling reasons, along with the “Why” behind food safety. Statistics without stories are not compelling. By hearing the stories and seeing the faces of those who have been ill or who have lost loved ones, the reason for a food safety culture is remembered—and these memories may translate into everyday food safety practices. Everyone has a role in food safety but for some, the only role was to become ill. Think about cantaloupe, peanut butter, ice cream, pre-washed greens, candy apples and more.
Why should you care? We are all consumers; we all have children, parents, friends and loved ones who we do not want to become ill from a preventable illness. No one wants for individuals to contract a foodborne illness.
So here we are, on a journey towards creating strong food safety culture in the lives of business leaders, the food industry, employees handling food, and in our schools and homes. I recently attended several conferences that had themes and program titles related to “A Food Safety Culture”. We know it is critical for leaders to embrace the culture, model safe and best practices, and we know it is important to share the reasons why.
In this column, I will talk about summer food safety, back to school food safety, the importance of hand washing, and many other Food Safety Culture Club topics.
You are a significant contributor in keeping food safe; you make a difference.
STOP Foodborne Illness is a national nonprofit organization dedicated to preventing illness and death from foodborne illness by advocating for sound public policy, building public awareness, and assisting those impacted by foodborne illness. Contact STOP Foodborne Illness if you are interested in having one of the staff members or board members speak at your training.