September is Food Safety Education Month!
Here at the LGMA we are concerned with food safety education every day, but we think having a whole month dedicated to shedding some light on this important topic is a great thing. And many organizations and government agencies, who also regularly work to educate people about the importance of food safety and how to avoid foodborne illness, are ‘celebrating’ the month by providing even more information and resources than they usually do.
In the interest of helping to spread facts, information and safety tips to people everywhere, the LGMA has listed below a number of websites where people can become more educated about food safety:
Partnership for Food Safety Education. This website at www.fightbac.org is one very important resource for all things food safety – particularly when it comes to consumer tips. This month, the organization is providing weekly “mythbusting” tips to help educate consumers on how food safety practices at home can be improved. Even the LGMA is learning new things on this site. For example, we didn’t realize that drying your fruits and veggies can make them safer than just washing them. It’s true. Apparently, the added abrasion created by drying produce with a clean paper towel can help to better remove pathogens if they are present. So, it’s always a good idea to dry your produce after you give it a good rinse in clear, running water. Who knew?
Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. The association that represents dietitians and health and wellness advisors can be found at www.eatright.org. A special micro-site is also available at www.homefoodsafety.org that provides a host of educational information including videos, consumer handling tips and food recall alerts. Much of the content is downloadable and there is even an app for iPhone or Android called Is My Food Safe? that provides easy access to information like what temperature to cook meats and other foods to make sure they are safe to eat. Genius.
Government Resources. The federal government provides a wealth of food safety education for many kinds of users. The hub of this information can be found at www.FoodSafety.gov , a website is billed as Your Gateway to Food Safety Information. It’s a designed to provide easy access to resources available through the United States Department of Food and Agriculture; U.S. Food and Drug Agency; U.S. Centers for Disease Control; U.S. Department of Health and Human Services; National Institutes of Health and the White House. All we can say is, the amount of information available is limitless.
California Leafy Greens Marketing Agreement. Last, but not least is our own website. We actually have two – www.caleafygreens.ca.gov and www.safeleafygreens.com. The former provides detailed information about the LGMA and its system of mandatory government food safety audits including a list so certified leafy greens handlers and details about the required food safety audits. The latter is a more consumer-friendly site and includes information specific to handling of leafy greens, a few recipes and come basics about how California farmers produce safe leafy greens.
In honor of National Food Safety Education Month, we highly suggest visiting these websites, signing up to receive newsletters, following the organizations on social media and passing along what you learn to others. For the remainder of this important month, the LGMA will disseminate as much educational information on food safety as we can through our own social channels. So, follow us as well.