Published on Thu, 05/20/2010 by Canada Beef Inc.

BIC committed to food safety education

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

A founding member of the Canadian Partnership for Consumer Food Safety Education, the Beef Information Centre (BIC) ensures consumers of Canadian beef have access to tools necessary to keep their food safe.

Food safety education initiatives delivered by the Partnership help Canadian consumers understand their role in food safety. These initiatives raise awareness and provide consumers with knowledge and tools to handle food, including Canadian beef, safely.

BIC’s involvement in the Canadian Partnership for Consumer Food Safety Education means retailers and suppliers, in addition to health professionals, have easy access to valid information they can offer consumers. As well, teachers and dietitians often access the Partnership and its websites for materials to use in classrooms, and for patient counselling and education.

“Since consumers are the last link in the food safety chain, their safe food handling is critically important,” says Judy Nelson, BIC chair and a cow-calf producer at Lundbreck, Alta. “Through positive messaging, BIC increases consumer awareness and use of safe food handling practices, which helps maintain consumer confidence in the beef supply chain.”

BIC has continuously supported the Partnership, and has been represented on its board of directors for the past three years. Indeed, BIC is one of the key driving forces behind the Partnership’s pursuit of the mission, ‘To increase the awareness and use of safe food handling practices by consumers in Canada’.

Besides BIC, there are about two dozen public and private sector members of the Partnership, including the Canadian Food Inspection Agency, Health Canada, Public Health Agency of Canada, Chicken Farmers of Canada, Egg Farmers of Canada, Canadian Pork Council, Canadian Council of Grocery Distributors and the Canadian Produce Marketing Association.

The Partnership maintains two websites (www.canfightbac.org, www.befoodsafe.ca) that drew almost 250,000 unique visitors over the past 12 months. As well, the Partnership responded to over 1,000 consumer emails and phone calls during the same period.

One Partnership component – Be Food Safe – offers safe food handling messages designed to remind consumers about proper safe food handling practices. Four core messages – Cook, Clean, Separate, Chill – can be used by retailers, suppliers and anyone else involved in food safety education, such as public health units or health professionals (a license agreement must be signed beforehand). French, English and bilingual icons and messages are available via the Partnership. BIC was represented on the Be Food Safe development committee, and has played an important role in shaping this program.

BIC features the icons and a link to www.befoodsafe.ca on its consumer website.

BIC’s efforts to maximize demand for Canadian beef and optimize the value of Canadian beef products is funded in part by cattle producers through the National Beef Check-Off, and through beef industry market development funds provided by the Government of Alberta and the Government of Canada.

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For more information, please contact
Janet Kanters
Stakeholder Communications Manager
Beef Information Centre
403-275-5890, ext 310
jkanters@beefinfo.org