September is National Food Safety Education Month

Published 9:28 pm Monday, September 8, 2008

By Staff
Health Department urges public to observe this
Newsroom Manager
Food safety starts at home.
The Health Department has joined the N.C. Division of Environmental Health and the N.C. Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services to urge county residents that food safety begins with their practices at home, Vaughan said.
Beaufort County Health Director Roxanne Holloman said she asks the public to pay attention to the subject of the observance and to please practice safe food-handling procedure.
She said that food safety is everything from washing produce before eating it to separating raw meats from other food items.
This year’s theme, “Take Action to Prevent an Allergic Reaction,” focuses on the importance of reducing the incidence of food allergy reactions by knowing the most common foods for food-related allergies and how to respond to food allergy reactions, Vaughan said.
The Health Department and the Beaufort County Cooperative Extension Service offer Serv Safe, a food safety course designed for food managers, twice a year.
Starting in July 2009, food service establishment managers that do not have a current Serv Safe certificate will loose two points on their final inspection score, Vaughan said.
The Cooperative Extension Service and the Health Department are going to meet the demands of this by offering the Serv Safe course in October, Vaughan said.
In addition to being knowledgeable of the occurrence of food allergies, the Health Department highlights five additional food safety techniques, including hand-washing habits, washing produce thoroughly before consumption, separating raw meats and poultry from ready-to-eat foods and foods that will be eaten raw such as fresh vegetables, keeping foods at the appropriate temperatures and knowing when to throw out foods.
National Food Safety Education Month, created in 1994, was established by the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation’s International Food Safety Council.
It was developed to heighten the awareness about the importance of food safety education as well as increase consumer awareness about the importance of food safety, Vaughan said.
For more information about National Food Safety Education Month activities in Beaufort County during September, contact Vaughan at (252) 946-6048.
For more information about specific activities in North Carolina, contact Claudia Rumfelt-Wright at (919) 715-8497 or Wendy Campbell at (919) 733-7366.