The nonprofit Partnership for Food Safety Education is introducing ProducePro, a new campaign intended to support consumers with important home practices for the safe preparation and enjoyment of fresh fruits and vegetables.
With more than 48 million people contracting foodborne illnesses each year, the Partnership for Food Safety Education is determined to empower consumers to reduce their risk through consistent practice of basic safe food handling and proper hand-washing. This is especially important for fruits and vegetables, as foodborne illness outbreaks have been linked to produce, which is often eaten raw, without a cooking kill step.
ProducePro delivers tools designed for retailers and health educators to effectively educate consumers on produce safety. The program references the Partnership’s evidence-based and actionable “6 Smart ProducePro Practices” in all materials. These tips include:
- Check fresh produce for signs of bruising or damage.
- Clean hands, surfaces and utensils.
- Rinse fresh fruits and vegetables under running tap water.
- Separate produce from raw meat, seafood, poultry, eggs and household chemicals.
- Chill cut fresh produce within two hours.
- Throw away bruised, damaged or potentially cross-contaminated produce.
Retailers have access to colorful graphics and digital assets, signage and posters, produce bags, recipe cards, social media content and circular content to easily share with customers in-store and in external communications. BAC Fighters — i.e. health and food safety educators — can download graphics and digital assets, brochures, talking points, PowerPoint presentations and tips to help explain the science behind the safe handling practices. From quick tips to in-depth explanations, ProducePro is free and easily accessible at the main website of the Partnership for Food Safety Education.
ProducePro Ellie Krieger, registered dietitian, TV personality and contributing guest on the webinar “Educating Consumers on the Safe Handling of Produce,” provided recipes and tips on food safety and nutrition for the event. “Food safety is integral to cooking and eating well. It doesn’t have to involve a scary conversation—it’s simply about forming good basic habits for healthfully preparing and enjoying more produce,” she says.
Retailers and BAC Fighters are encouraged to access and utilize the free webinar online, which features food safety and consumer research experts identifying key fresh produce trends, consumer produce-handling behaviors and the leading causes of foodborne illnesses.
“We’re excited to have Ellie Krieger be a part of this effort to inform all consumers on the safe handling of fresh fruits and vegetables,” says Shelley Feist, executive director for the Partnership for Food Safety Education.
The ProducePro campaign is currently being previewed at FMI Connect in Chicago, June 10–13, and will officially kick off in late June. Find more information and join the BAC Fighter mailing list here.
ProducePro is supported by a generous donation from the Food Marketing Institute Foundation, with additional support from the Produce Marketing Association. The Partnership for Food Safety Education is the originator of science-based consumer food safety messages and the national leader in developing and disseminating information around the linkage of consumer food safety education to positive health outcomes.