Health and Family Services Cabinet
What’s on Your Hand
DPH Highlights Tips to Prevent Food-Related Illness
From back-to-school to Halloween and Thanksgiving, autumn brings a host of reasons to celebrate – and to think about food safety.
This month, recognized as National Food Safety Education Month, the Kentucky Department for Public Health (DPH) is encouraging Kentuckians to learn more about what it takes to safely prepare food and other tips to stay healthy and free of food-related illness.
“Simply washing hands properly and regularly can help prevent the spread of foodborne viruses,” said Christine Atkinson, manager of the food safety branch.
DPH joins the Kentucky Restaurant Association, the Kentucky Grocers Association, the United States Food and Drug Administration and the U.S. Department of Agriculture to promote the observance, which is dedicated to highlighting procedures necessary for proper cleaning and sanitizing of food products, utensils and appliances. This year’s theme is “Viruses: They’re in Your Hands.”
Through National Food Safety Education Month, the food safety branch has the opportunity to highlight what state, local and industry partners are doing to educate employees and customers on proper food safety procedures. During September, Atkinson said, state and local health departments, food service operations and retail markets will participate by conducting training activities for restaurant and food industry professionals, as well as communicating the importance of food safety to the public.
Presently, 48 counties in Kentucky have enacted local ordinances requiring restaurant food handler and/or manager training and certification.
“Training Kentucky’s food professionals to prepare and handle food safely is a top priority for our organization and the restaurant and food industry,” said Atkinson. “Meanwhile, we also want consumers to remember that proper food safety practices are just as important at home.”
As part of its observance of Food Safety Education Month, DPH is sponsoring the annual Kentucky Retail Food Seminar Sept. 5-7 at the Brown Hotel in Louisville. Approximately 100 food safety professionals from across the state, including state and local health department inspectors and representatives from the food and service industry, will gather for the continuing education seminar.
To obtain further information on food safety, visit the DPH Web site at http://chfs.ky.gov/dph/info/phps/food.htm or call Pamela Hendren in the food safety branch at (502) 564-7181, ext. 3715.