Equitable Food Initiative highlights the role of farmworkers in food safety efforts

Equitable Food Initiative highlights the role of farmworkers in food safety efforts

by Sue Jones
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Food safety education month

The Equitable Food Initiative (EFI) is celebrating National Food Safety Education Month by encouraging growers and agricultural associations to share their commitment to food safety.

The EFI is a workforce development and certification organization that partners with growers, farmworkers, retailers and consumer advocacy groups, 

Organization leaders hope to expand the message beyond in-home education to raise awareness about the 2.4 million farmworkers across the United States who work to grow, harvest and pack safe fruits and vegetables and who follow strict protocols to reduce the prevalence and severity of food safety incidents.

In a recent consumer survey, the EFI polled respondents about a variety of social responsibility and sustainability issues and about their concerns when purchasing fresh fruits and vegetables. Food recalls, foodborne outbreaks and illnesses were their second highest concern at 68 percent, one percentage point behind pesticide use and residues at 69 percent.

During September, the EFI is sharing stories on social media about food safety and encouraging others to do the same. Sample graphics and a video can be downloaded on the EFI website

Important messages to share:

  • Food safety starts on the farm and farmworkers are on the front lines of preventing foodborne illness.
  • To address threats to food safety, workers need dignified working conditions, training and a culture that encourages them to speak up when they see problems.
  • Well-trained farmworkers are the critical first step in preventing foodborne illnesses.
  • Farmers are held to high food safety standards and must complete regular food safety audits and continuing education programs.

EFI encourages industry members to continue amplifying the message that food safety starts at the farm by:

  • Sharing EFI-provided messages/information across social media. 
  • Creating unique content/videos for social media highlighting food safety protocols and messages using the hashtag #FoodSafetyMonth.
  • Contacting media and asking them to share information about the role of agriculture and farmworkers in growing and shipping safe 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,” said LeAnne Ruzzamenti, director of marketing communications for EFI.

“But as industry members, we also need to share our story with consumers so they understand the role we play in creating this level of safety and abundance.”

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

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