To help educate the public about foodborne illness and its prevention, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and NSF International will host a food safety education conference: Advancements in Food Safety Education: Trends, Tools and Technologies, Tuesday to Friday, March 23-26, 2010, in Atlanta.
The conference will focus on identifying communication and education strategies to increase the public’s knowledge of the causes of foodborne illnesses and improve consumer food safety practices (including control and defense against microbiological food safety risks).
Other key sponsors include the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), NSF/World Health Organization (WHO) Collaborating Center for Food Safety and the Partnership for Food Safety Education (PFSE).
Public health professionals, health care providers, medical communicators, food safety educators, extension service personnel, consumer and industry groups, communications technology experts, regulators, and science and health writers.
Information will be provided in plenary sessions, break out sessions, panel discussions, poster presentations and pre-conference workshops. The conference will build on the success of the 2006 conference, Reaching at Risk Audiences and Today’s Other Food Safety Challenges, which discussed research and insights for reducing foodborne illness in general and at-risk populations.
The conference will demonstrate how communication technologies and social marketing techniques, including social media such as Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Blogs, Webinars, can be used to reach consumers on food safety issues. Innovative food safety education programs will also be highlighted. Other key topics will include:
- Medical professional recruitment for food safety outreach purposes
- The consumer education role of food service and food retail establishments
- The evolving and expanding role of new technologies in consumer education
- Behavioral and attitudinal research
- Epidemiology: study of causes and casualties
“The goal of this conference is to help educate consumers by bringing together the nation’s leading authorities on food safety, epidemiology, academia, regulation, education and public health,” said Stan Hazan, Senior Director of NSF’s Regulatory Affairs. “It is the ideal forum to discuss future food safety educational initiatives and consumer outreach programs.”