Today, June 7,  is  World Food Safety Day, and the Partnership for Food Safety Education is taking this  time to recognize and celebrate the people who work tirelessly to provide healthy and safe meals.

Videos from those and about those who have been nominated can be viewed on Fight Bac! Partnership for Food Safety Education’s Facebook or Twitter pages.

Those recognized as food safety heroes in 2020, including write-ups and links to their work  from the Partnership for Food Safety Education:


  • Jollibee USA is recognized as food safety heroes. The jolly people of Jollibee USA have shown their care for customers and communities by serving great-tasting and safe food. They provided food to frontline medical workers in hospitals to help bring joy and support to nearby communities.
  • Red Ribbon Bakeshop USA is recognized as food safety heroes. Team Red Ribbon Bakeshop USA keeps the stores clean and sanitary. They focus on food safety and love to donate food to the community. Red Ribbon makes moments sweeter for team members, customers and the community.

District of Columbia

  • James McCarthy recognizes Linda Parisi of So Others Might Eat. Linda has been a tireless champion in feeding the homeless over the last 15 years. She ensures that the food the recipients receive is safe and wholesome.


  • Patricia Buck recognizes Judith A. Cruz of Treasure Coast Food Bank. The Treasure Coast Food Bank in Fort Pierce Fla. provides clients with safe and wholesome food. During the COVID-19 pandemic, the food bank has distributed 3 million pounds of boxed fresh produce; 20,000 gallons of milk; 1,000 gallons of vegetable soup; and continues to provide meals to seniors, schools, food recovery and mobile pantries.


  • The Idaho Falls Community Hospital‘s kitchen staff are recognized for being food safety heroes. Already dedicated to practicing food safety techniques, the kitchen staff began taking extra precautions to ensure meals for the doctors and nurses on the front lines were safe from additional pathogens during the COVID-19 pandemic. The kitchen staff have stepped up and worked as a team to deliver safe and quality food during a time of crisis!
  • Lori Haroldsen recognizes Patience Allen of Idaho Falls Community Hospital. Six months after the Community Hospital opened, the COVID-19 pandemic hit. Patience has volunteered her time to come in early and stay late to ensure that the doctors, nurses, other staff, and patients have meals that are safe and healthy.
  • Heather Whitehead recognizes Chris Martinez of St. Vincent de Paul Food Bank. Chris is the food bank manager. He dedicates many hours to keeping the pantry up and running, even continuing to work with an injury . During the pandemic, Chris has worked to line up volunteers to help two other area food banks stay open and serve people.


  • Atalie Tompkins recognizes Ortus Café and Chef Edward Hammatt. Ortus Café, located in Abilene, was open just three months before the COVID-19 pandemic and the state of Kansas stay-at-home orders shut down all dine-in services in Dickinson County. The restaurant owners originally stayed open for curbside pickup, but as the pandemic progressed they made the difficult choice to close on March 2. The restaurant has been a model to the community for safety and encouraging people to stay at home and stay safe.


  • Melissa Guillory recognizes Carol Neusetzer of the Louisiana Department of Health. Carol is a public health sanitarian consistently available to support inquiries, respond to concerns, provide education, and optimize food safety for citizens in Louisiana.


  • Cheryl Bush recognizes Jenny Rhodes and Lee Bridgman of the University of Maryland Extension and Maryland Farm Bureau. Jenny, Lee and farm bureau members worked tirelessly to organize a safe and very successful bulk chicken sale on May 16, 2020. Queen Anne’s County Emergency Operations, Sheriff’s Office, Mountaire Farms staff and supportive volunteers rocked the sale!


  • Brad Deacon of Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD) is recognized for working to ensure MDARD is prepared for any emergency. His vision and management has made MDARD a statewide resource for any response. He is a pioneer in ensuring Agriculture is represented and influences emergency responses.


  • Suzanne Driessen recognizes Kathy Brandt of University of Minnesota Extension. During the COVID-19 pandemic, Kathy has coordinated our food safety team’s educational response, fielding hundreds of questions from Minnesota residences and correcting widely circulating misinformation.


  • Cindy Brison recognizes the Nebraska Extension Food Safety Team of Nebraska Extension. The Nebraska Extension Food Safety Team has teamed up to increase consumer confidence in food safety during this COVID-19 outbreak. They have created timely social media posts, news articles and live videos. The team has encouraged consumers to stop using bleach and soap on their produce — a big concern to address.
  • Carol Larvick recognizes Brenda Sale of the University of Nebraska in Dakota County. Several years ago, Brenda gathered community members to work on food insecurity. When the COVID-19 pandemic came, she moved them into overdrive by raising money and creating safe systems for distributing food to people in need.
  • Sue Jackson of Sutton Community Home is recognized for coming to work every day with a smile on her face. She cooks meals with love and care. If someone wants something else to eat, Sue will whip it for them.


  • Derrick Felder recognizes Nicolas Salas of Lutheran Social Services of Nevada. Nick provides food services to pantry shoppers each day during the COVID-19 pandemic shutdown. He is the first in the building and the last to leave for the day. Nick keeps the pantry organized and efficient for shoppers to have a joyful experience.

New York

  • Jenna Ricker recognizes Stiles Najac of Cornell Cooperative Extension Orange County. Stiles has been leading the Gleaning Program for more than a decade. She and her team have been able to quickly adapt to the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic by safely making home deliveries to the individuals and agencies who rely most on this donated food.


  • Gina Nicholson Kramer recognizes her son Reed. He works as a front line employee with Kroger. She said, “Reed is an essential employee who works so we can stay home.”
  • Laura McClain of Wayne County Nursing Home is recognized for being a passionate advocate for proper handwashing before and during the COVID-19 pandemic. As a nurse at a county nursing home, she has been one of the only visitors her residents can see. Laura has made sure they are getting their food and care safely.
  • Mark McClain of Gioninos is recognized for delivering pizzas to his community wearing a mask and following safe distancing throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. He especially takes great care, making sure that nursing homes’ pizza orders are received safely to keep those communities safe.


  • Donna Timm recognizes Margaret Vattiat of Oregon Health Science University. Margaret trains all new hires in food safety practices. She works diligently to ensure that food prepared at the university is healthy and safe.


  • Simone Cabaza, a mother, is recognized for washing her children’s hands and helping them be ready for a challenge.

Rhode Island

  • Ernie Julian of Rhode Island Department of Health is recognized for working in food safety for his entire career. Even though he could retire, Ernie continues leading food safety in Rhode Island with as much passion and effectiveness as the first day of his career. During the COVID-19 pandemic, he has spent late nights helping other jurisdictions with guidance.


  • Stephanie Middleton recognizes Martha Robertson of Hardeman County School System. Martha is committed to making sure that the children of Hardeman County, TN receive healthy and nutritious meals on a consistent basis. She came out of retirement to accept the position of Nutrition Director for our school system.


  • Kathy Means recognizes Christina Blick of Brighter Bites. Brighter Bites provides fresh produce to the under-served people in Texas, New York City, Washington D.C., and Southwest Florida (approximately 27 million pounds so far). With each delivery of fresh produce, they provide safe produce handling advice as well. Brighter Bites delivers healthy food and healthy handling information — skills that will serve them forever.
  • Megan Levin recognizes Bill Schwartz of the Refrigerated Foods Association. Bill has diligently served on the RFA’s Technical Committee where he works to ensure food manufacturers understand all relevant food safety guidance, and that they are in compliance with regulations.


  • Trudy Swain recognizes Mary Nagel of Washington State Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction. Mary is the supervisor for the Child & Adult Care Food Program in Washington State. In her instinctively fun and instructive way, she leads her team in providing food safety instruction and guidelines for adult and child care facilities throughout our state.

The Partnership for Food Safety Education delivers trusted, science-based behavioral health messaging and a network of resources that support consumers in their efforts to reduce risk of foodborne illness. They work with an active network of 13,000 health and food safety educators and support them by making their work more visible, collaborative, and effective.

To find out more about the Fight Bac!, Partnership for Food Safety Education, visit their website.

(To sign up for a free subscription to Food Safety News, click here)