Food Safety Partnership Announces New Members and Expanded Board

Leading Food Industry Associations will help Improve Consumer Education

WASHINGTON, June 3 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Partnership for Food Safety Education, a non-profit organization dedicated to improving public health through research-based, actionable consumer food safety education, has announced an expanded Board of Directors and the addition of two leading food industry organizations as new contributing members.

The Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA) and the American Frozen Food Institute (AFFI) join the Partnership at a time of increased attention to consumer outreach through activation of retailers and food and consumer product companies.

GMA and AFFI join industry, consumer, health and scientific professional organizations, and Federal agency liaisons, that for ten years have led development and dissemination of the Fight BAC!(R) campaign and, now, Be Food Safe, a new campaign designed to bring the basic consumer safe food handling messages of Clean, Separate, Cook and Chill to places where people shop for food.

Newly appointed to the Partnership's Board of Directors are Robert E. Brackett, Ph.D., Senior Vice President and Chief Science and Regulatory Affairs Officer, Grocery Manufacturers Association, Washington, DC, and Leslie G. Sarasin, CAE, President and CEO, American Frozen Food Institute, McLean, VA.

"The Partnership Board will benefit tremendously from the engagement of these two food industry leaders and their associations," said Partnership Board Chairman Bryan Silbermann, President of the Produce Marketing Association. "To have an impact on foodborne illness we must engage all food and consumer product associations and their member companies in consumer education. I know Bob and Leslie well; they see the benefits of being involved and we see the value of their experience and insights."

"Our membership with the Partnership for Food Safety Education is consistent with GMA's leadership role in promoting industry solutions that help consumers achieve and maintain good health and wellness," said GMA's Brackett. "Communicating basic safe food handling and hygiene to consumers is an important extension of the food safety work of our member companies. Developing dialogue with consumers through participation in Partnership programming is an absolute priority of GMA."

Said AFFI CEO Sarasin, "The frozen food industry looks forward to helping shape and extend the Partnership's national messaging to bring clarity to consumers on the safe handling of frozen foods. We are excited about the new channels offered through the Be Food Safe retailer program to bring consumers important information on handling and cooking frozen products to ensure quality and safety."

The Partnership recently announced that nearly 40 retailers, representing approximately 6,000 supermarkets and an estimated 81 million consumers, have volunteered to bring Be Food Safe messages to customers through in-store and external communications programs.

Said Partnership Executive Director, Shelley Feist, "The Partnership is a truly unique forum through which GMA and AFFI can be active in developing the messages and delivery systems to elevate Americans' awareness of the importance to health of consistently following basic safe food handling."

Bringing together producer and industry trade associations, consumer-oriented not-for-profit organizations and professional societies in cooperation with government agencies, the Partnership is helping more Americans become aware of how they can reduce their risk of foodborne illness. Websites at http://www.fightbac.org and http://www.befoodsafe.org contain free, downloadable materials for use in educating others about safe food handling. Be Food Safe is a joint program of the US Department of Agriculture and the Partnership.

For membership or Be Food Safe license information contact Shelley Feist, Partnership Executive Director at [email protected]

About the Partnership

The Partnership for Food Safety Education unites industry associations, professional societies in food science, nutrition and health, consumer groups and the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Food and Drug Administration, to educate the public about safe food handling and preparation.

The Partnership's Fight BAC!(R) campaign is the result of an extensive consumer research process. Fight BAC!(R) materials are fully accessible online and are utilized by teachers, dietitians, public health officials, small businesses and extension agents across the United States.

Contributing members of the Partnership include: Almond Board of California; American Dietetic Association; American Egg Board and the Egg Safety Center; American Frozen Food Institute; Association of Food and Drug Officials; Consumer Federation of America; Food Marketing Institute; Food Temperature Indicator Association; Grocery Manufacturers Association; Institute of Food Technologists; International Association for Food Protection; International Dairy, Deli and Bakery Association; International Food Information Council Foundation; National Association of State Departments of Agriculture; National Chicken Council; National Pork Board; National Turkey Federation; NSF International; Produce Marketing Association; The Soap and Detergent Association; United Fresh Produce Association.

About GMA

The Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA) represents the world's leading food, beverage and consumer products companies. The association promotes sound public policy, champions initiatives that increase productivity and growth and helps to protect the safety and security of the food supply through scientific excellence. The GMA board of directors is comprised of chief executive officers from the association's member companies. The $2.1 trillion food, beverage and consumer packaged goods industry employs 14 million workers, and contributes over $1 trillion in added value to the nation's economy. For more information, visit the GMA Web site at www.gmaonline.org.

About AFFI

The American Frozen Food Institute (AFFI) is the national trade association that promotes and represents the interests of all segments of the frozen food industry. AFFI fosters industry development and growth, advocates on behalf of the industry before legislative and regulatory entities, and provides additional value-added services for its members and for the benefit of consumers. AFFI members manufacture and distribute frozen foods throughout the United States and around the world, and are committed to ensuring that these products are produced in accordance with strict standards of safety and quality. http://www.affi.com

SOURCE Grocery Manufacturers Association

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