BAC Fighter Field Reports

Seriously? Food poisoning at a food safety meeting!

PFSE employee learns the value of her work first-hand

Seriously? Food poisoning at a food safety meeting!

You may have heard the ironic news that attendees at the Food Safety Summit in Baltimore last April reported symptoms of food poisoning. An investigation by the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene found the illnesses were likely caused by Clostridium perfringens (C. perfringens), bacteria that appears mostly in meat products and is the result of a failure to hold foods at a high enough temperature.

I was one of the 200+ conference attendees that experienced the food poisoning! It was an experience that I, a BAC Fighter and employee of the Partnership for Food Safety Education, was surprised to have at a food safety meeting (I mean- come on!). 

The sleepless and long night of discomfort I experienced did make clear how important it is that everyone play their part in preventing food poisoning, and that a culture that engages everyone in keeping food safe is critical to reducing food poisoning and its severe health impacts.  

As Mike Taylor, FDA Deputy Commissioner for Foods and Veterinary Medicine recently stated, “…We’re not talking about lots of stomach aches. We’re talking about life-changing illness in many cases.” For me, the C. Perfringens incidence demonstrated how important it is that young people learn about the risk of food poisoning, and also learn the healthy food handling habits that can be carried into adulthood. 

This experience also shows why the work of BAC Fighters [YOU!] is ever more important. Using Fight BAC!®  materials to reach youth and families in your communities is critical to establishing life-long healthy behaviors that reduce the risk of food poisoning. And when young people enter the food service workforce, safe food handling practices will be second nature!

Because food safety education isn’t about preventing a few stomach aches. It’s about reducing the risk of potentially life-changing illness.

Atlanta Kroger Co. Stores Add Culinary Flair to Food Safety Education

Food thermometers and recipes are a perfect match for eager customers.

Atlanta Kroger Co. Stores Add Culinary Flair to Food Safety Education

For National Food Safety Education Month, the Partnership for Food Safety Education worked with contributing partner Kroger to create a week- by- week outreach plan. We thank every participating Kroger Co. store for joining us in this effort to connect with customers on food safety in September!


Kroger’s Atlanta Division added culinary flair to safe grilling information provided by the Partnership. They offered a double dose of fun to customers: delicious recipes and useful information on food thermometers!

They transformed PFSE’s food thermometer flyer into a recipe flyer, and printed the opposite side with a deliciously tempting recipe from Kroger Chef John Szymanski.

Atlanta’s food safety manager sent 200 flyers to each Atlanta Division store - 120,000 recipe flyers in total! Both customers and store managers loved them.  

Thank you Atlanta Division Kroger Stores for reminding consumers that food thermometers are a vital ingredient when preparing food at home!  


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BAC Fighter and Blogger Shares Food Safety Messages

After attending PFSE’s recent Knowledge Exchange, Marybeth was inspired to share

BAC Fighter and Blogger Shares Food Safety Messages

Some information demands a share! After the Partnership for Food Safety Education’s July Knowledge Exchange conference call on poultry handling, Marybeth Feutz was

inspired to share information on her blog, AgriCultured. In her post, Food Safety in the Kitchen, Marybeth shares some key points on consumer behavior from the call. 

Marybeth was was especially surprised that only 20% of people believed their family could become ill from chicken prepared in the home. Her post emphasizes how important it is for consumers to keep food safe once they get it home from the store. She plans to tackle washing chicken next.

Be sure to check our Marybeth’s blog and listen to the Knowledge Exchange conference call recording that inspired her post.

Recommit to the Need for Consumer Food Safety Education

The Consumer Food Safety Education Conference's targeted educational approach will inspire you!

Recommit to the Need for Consumer Food Safety Education

Attending the Consumer Food Safety Education Conference (this year, Dec. 4-5 in Arlington, VA) is important to me on many levels. Because the conference focuses on food safety education, there’s a much more targeted educational approach that meets my needs. And because it is targeted, it attracts people like me who are trying to make a difference in food safety education, which enriches the networking opportunities.

I know I can’t go to every conference that comes up, so I always look closely at the programming. Will I get the latest, science-based information available? Are the sessions going to help me in my day-to-day work? Will I see the right people that I can learn from (and steal ideas from!)? Will and I (and my employer) get something out of this – what’s the ROI?

I’ve attended several of the previous Consumer Food Safety Education Conferences, and each time, it’s met my needs. I’ve learned things that expanded my knowledge, challenged my ideas, and recommitted me to the need for consumer food safety education.  This is an issue that can’t be solved by one person, or even a handful. It takes all of us working in concert to get the word out, to help consumers make those changes that will safeguard themselves and their families. It’s validating and encouraging to be among other people who have this same passion and commitment to food safety education.

Like many people who attend the conference, I’m a conduit for others. The information shared at the conference doesn’t stop with me or the several hundred food safety educators who attend. It’s multiplied and amplified as each of us works to improve consumer food safety practices. I find it’s well worth my time and attention. I wouldn’t miss it.

Join Kathy and other educators for the Consumer Food Safety Education Conference 2014 for a fresh perspective on food safety. Read more and register today >  

Kathy Means is Vice President of Industry Relations at the Produce Marketing Association.

Visit for food safety information, downloads, and tools you can use to educate people about protecting their health through safe food handling.


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Partnership for Food Safety Education
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Arlington, VA 22202
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