NACS Joins Efforts to Advance Food Safety Education
ALEXANDRIA, Va. — NACS, the Association for Convenience & Fuel Retailing, is teaming up with the Partnership for Food Safety Education (PFSE) to educate consumers on the steps they can take while handling food to reduce the risk of a foodborne illness.
An estimated one in six Americans contracts a foodborne illness every year and 128,000 are hospitalized every year because of these illnesses. As more convenience stores grow sales of foodservice and fresh food offers, protecting consumers is increasingly driving retailers to enhance their company-wide focus on a food safety and food handling culture, NACS stated.
"September is National Food Safety Education Month, but food safety is an issue that our members take seriously throughout the year. Working with PFSE will help our members find new resources and ideas to educate their customers on how to maintain the integrity and quality of the food sold after they leave a convenience store — or any retail channel that sells food," said NACS Vice President of Strategic Industry Initiatives Jeff Lenard.
"Food safety and public health officials agree that consumers, as the last stop in the farm-to-fork continuum, have an important role to play in reducing their risk of foodborne illness. Our industry, which serves about 165 million customers every day, can help broadly communicate important messages related to food safety," he added.
PFSE created the "Fight BAC! Keep Food Safe From Bacteria" campaign, which is an education program that uses scientifically based recommendations from an extensive consumer research process to help educate consumers on the steps they can take to minimize risks related to food safety.
"NACS members are leaders in their communities and the Partnership for Food Safety Education looks forward to all the ways we can collaborate to connect with people about the importance of safe food handling," said Shelley Feist, executive director, PFSE. "Together, we’ll be working on helping families nationwide reduce the risk of foodborne illness and its horrible health impacts."
"Fight BAC!" national consumer outreach materials are accessible online at www.fightbac.org.
Alexandria-based NACS represents the U.S. convenience store industry, with more than 154,000 stores nationwide selling fuel, food and merchandise and serving 160 million customers daily. NACS has 2,100 retailer and 1,750 supplier members from more than 50 countries.