The Partnership for Food Safety Education (PFSE) is hosting the Consumer Food Safety Education Virtual Conference, March 9-12. The conference is dedicated to consumer food safety education.

“COVID-19 has us shining a spotlight on home meal preparation, hand hygiene and food delivery,” said Shelley Feist, executive director of PFSE. “This event offers up new data points and new ideas for connecting with people on the importance of home hand hygiene and food safety.”

Attendees can earn continuing education units (CEUs) from the Institute of Food Technologists (IFT), the National Environmental Health Association (NEHA) and six other accreditors.

Sessions are designed to help attendees gain insight on compelling ways to support people at home to be consistent in reducing their risk of foodborne illness:

  • Effective communication about handwashing, cleaning, sanitizing and the risks of cross-contamination at home;
  • Risk communications lessons from multi-state foodborne outbreaks;
  • Family meals advocacy and support;
  • Health communications programming in the absence of in-person events; and
  • Food safety education and social media in the era of COVID-19.

Conference co-chairs Steven Mandernach, executive director of the Association of Food and Drug Officials (AFDO), and Cindy Jiang, senior director of global risk management for the McDonald’s Corp., will kick off the three afternoons of programming with a live session March 10 featuring federal agency leaders addressing food safety and the health of Americans.

Participating Federal officials include:

  • Carter Blakey, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, on Health People 2030 goals in food safety
  • Paul Kiecker, U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service, on addressing consumer handling of meat and poultry products
  • Robert Tauxe, National Center for Emerging and Zoonotic Infectious Diseases at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, on stresses and impacts of the pandemic on foodborne disease tracking
  • Frank Yiannas, U.S. Food and Drug Administration, on looking ahead to improving consumer education in a New Era of Smarter Food Safety, the FDA’s blueprint for food safety in the future

The conference brings together health educators from across the United States to collaborate on behavior change as critical to reducing rates of foodborne illness in the United States. Other speakers include:

  • Sally Lyons Wyatt of IRi presents Consumer Food Trends and the Path Forward where she’ll share current data on consumer food purchasing and home food preparation during the COVID 19 pandemic.  She’ll also talk about what food purchasing trends might stick when people become more mobile later in 2021.
  • A March 12 morning session, Food Delivery — Key Insights and Consumer Education, looks at new research by PFSE and others on household food delivery options, and previews an initiative to support people in handling delivered foods safely.
  • Michael Kalish and Charlie Kalish – The Cheese Twins – combine humor, serious food safety talk, and a virtual cheese tasting at a March 11 session, There’s a Hole in My Cheese and Other Things to Complain About: A Food Safety Perspective. 

The complete conference program can be found here.

The conference is supported in part by BAC Fighter Community Connectors, Amazon, Beef Checkoff, International Association for Food Protection, and USDA’s FSIS.

About the Partnership for Food Safety Education (PFSE)
The PFSE is a U.S. leader in advancing dialogue and program collaborations that improve people’s access to actionable solutions for reducing the risk of foodborne illness for themselves and their families.

Contributors to this food poisoning prevention work are Amazon, Cargill, FMI Foundation and NSF International, among several others representing the food industry, consumer groups, scientific and professional associations. A full list of contributors can be found here.

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