Equitable Food Initiative Spotlights Farmworkers During Food Safety Month; LeAnne Ruzzamenti Comments
WASHINGTON, DC - Food safety remains a high priority for both consumers and suppliers, and stocking produce departments with safe, quality products would not be possible without the growers who maintain an admirable commitment to health and food safety practices. In honor of National Food Safety Education Month, Equitable Food Initiative (EFI) is turning the spotlight on the farmers and farmworkers who dedicate themselves to providing safe and nutritious food.
“As consumers, we take for granted that we have access to some of the safest, most abundant, and affordable food supplies in the world. But as industry members, we also need to share our story with consumers so they better understand the role we play in creating this level of safety and abundance,” LeAnne Ruzzamenti, Director of Marketing Communications, commented. “Farmworkers play a vital role in the food system and, in fact, are the foundation of our supply chain, ensuring the availability, quality, and safety of our food.”
According to The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, foodborne illness sickens roughly 1 in 6 Americans, or 48 million people, a year. Setting out to change this statistic, the CDC has designated September as National Food Safety Education Month, setting a focus on educating consumers about food safety and proper food handling. EFI aims to amplify this message and raise awareness about the 2.4 million farmworkers in the United States who work to grow, harvest, and pack safe fruits and vegetables.
According to a recent press release, a consumer survey by EFI revealed that food recalls, foodborne outbreaks, and illness were the second-highest concern for consumers buying fresh produce, right behind pesticide use and residues. During the month of September, the organization’s goal is to highlight food safety messages to help consumers understand the value of a skilled workforce that is able to recognize and mitigate food safety issues before they become a concern to consumers.
The release also noted several ways for industry members to continue boosting the food safety message, including:
- Sharing EFI-provided messages and information across social media platforms
- Creating unique content or videos for social media highlighting their own food safety protocols and messages and using the hashtag #FoodSafetyMonth
- Contacting local media and asking them to share information about the role of agriculture and farmworkers in growing and shipping safe food
Throughout the entire National Food Safety Education Month, EFI will also share stories about food safety in the produce industry on social media and encourage other industry leaders to do the same. Those interested can download sample graphics and a video online.
As always, keep an eye out for ANUK as we continue to bring you the latest news in the fresh produce industry.