FRANKFORT, Ky. (Sept. 15, 2004)--Governor Ernie Fletcher has proclaimed the month of September as Food Safety Education Month in Kentucky.
The Cabinet for Health and Family Services' Food Safety Branch, in cooperation with local health departments, the Kentucky Restaurant Association, the Kentucky Grocers Association, the Food and Drug Administration, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the International Food Safety Council, and the Kentucky Food Safety Task Force are taking part in observance of Food Safety Education Month in Kentucky.
These groups are committed to heightening awareness of food safety education by supporting this important food safety initiative. The month-long observance focuses attention on the importance of safe food handling and the need for food refrigeration. This year's theme is "Four Steps to Food Safety: Clean, Separate, Cook and Chill." According to recent consumer research, Americans are more concerned about food safety today than ever before.
"Fortunately, most food-borne illness can be easily prevented by preparing and handling food properly both in food establishments and in the home," said Clyde Bolton, director, Division of Public Health Protection and Safety, Cabinet for Health and Family Services. "We certainly wish to take advantage of such an opportune time to further promote the importance of having safe food in this Commonwealth and to heighten the public awareness of just how important it is for all of us to have well trained food workers and a safe food supply."
During September, state and local health departments, food service establishments and retail markets will be participating by conducting training activities for restaurant and food industry professionals as well as communicating the importance of food safety to the public.
One of the most important and easiest ways to prevent the spread of illness through food is by washing your hands before preparing food. Another way to avoid illness is to read food product labels and safe handling instructions on fresh meat and poultry. Food processors provide instructions on packages about how to handle and prepare meats.
Help Kentucky keep a safe food supply by practicing good food handling skills this September, and throughout the year.
If you would like more information or wish to participate in September's Food Safety Education Month, call the state Food Safety Branch at (502) 564-7181.