Industry News | August 29, 2011

Food Safety Month Kicks off Thursday

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The National Restaurant Association announced a month-long initiative to encourage restaurant and foodservice operators to participate in the 17th Annual National Food Safety Education Month (NFSEM) this September. The campaign focuses on the importance of food safety education and training, while continuing to raise awareness of the industry’s commitment to food safety. 

This year’s theme, “Lessons Learned from the Health Inspection,” is sponsored by SCA, a global hygiene company and makers of the Tork® brand of away-from-home paper products. The National Restaurant Association selected SCA as the sponsor of the campaign due to the company’s commitment to food safety education and dedication to hygiene product solutions.  

“There is nothing more important than the health and safety of our guests at restaurants around the country, and National Food Safety Education Month highlights our industry’s commitment to serving healthful, delicious and safe meals every day,” says Dawn Sweeney, president and CEO of the National Restaurant Association.

“Our industry serves 130 million guests daily, and we know that it’s critical to train our employees in safe food handling practices. Through our national campaign, we encourage the nation’s nearly one million restaurants to demonstrate their dedication to food safety.”

As part of this educational campaign, free weekly training activities, food safety tips and free posters are now available for download at www.ServSafe.com/nfsem. All NFSEM materials are based on the National Restaurant Association’s ServSafe® food safety training and certification program. ServSafe is the nation’s most widely accepted food protection manager program, with more than 4.6 million certifications awarded to date.

“Hygiene and food safety are key imperatives in our customers’ day-to-day business,” says Suzanne Cohen, Foodservice Segment Director for SCA Tissue North America.

“Partnering with the National Restaurant Association for NFSEM to further educate the industry on these important topics ultimately creates a healthier environment for operators, employees and patrons nationwide.”

The curriculum for National Food Safety Education Month is broken down into five weekly sessions, each stressing different food safety basics and how they apply to the health inspection process. The sessions cover:

  1. How to work with a health inspector
  2. Handling food
  3. Cleaning and sanitizing
  4. Proper food storage techniques
  5. Handling utensils and equipment

Restaurant and hospitality industry professionals are encouraged to use these materials and participate in this national awareness campaign. The weekly training activities, food safety daily tips and posters can be used to supplement existing in-store food safety training. They communicate food safety concepts efficiently, and the weekly activities can be completed in less than 10 minutes.

The National Restaurant Association also provides a toolkit for restaurant operators to communicate their participation in National Food Safety Education Month to their guests.

This toolkit includes the initiative’s logo, a news release for restaurants, sample tweets, and email templates that promote involvement in the program.

All these items are available for download at www.ServSafe.com/NFSEM

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