ARLINGTON, VA — June 26, 2009 — The Partnership for Food Safety Education (PFSE) announced the election of Leslie G. Sarasin, president and chief executive officer of the Food Marketing Institute, as the new chairman of the Board of Directors, succeeding outgoing chairman Bryan Silbermann, president and chief executive officer, Produce Marketing Association. Pamela G. Bailey, president and chief executive officer of the Grocery Manufacturers Association, has been elected as the PFSE’s new vice chairman. The changes take effect on June 30.
PFSE is a non-profit organization dedicated to improving public health through research-based, actionable consumer food safety education. The Partnership is comprised of industry, consumer, health and scientific professional organizations and government agency representatives who work cooperatively to develop messages and education campaigns to remind consumers about the importance of safe food handling to good health.
“The Partnership Board has been stepping up its work to improve programming and activate a wider network of public and private sector organizations in national food safety education,” said Silbermann. “The knowledge and experience that Leslie and Pam bring to the leadership of the PFSE board will be invaluable to these efforts.”
Sarasin was appointed to the Partnership’s Board of Directors in 2008. Prior to joining FMI, she served as president and chief executive officer of the American Frozen Food Institute (AFFI) from 1999-2008.
“This is a unique time for the Partnership and its members as the administration and Congress evaluate how to improve food safety,” said Sarasin. “The Partnership has always understood the importance of educating consumers about food safety. I am honored to serve as chairman. The entire food industry has a role to play and it is important that we work together — retailers, suppliers, manufacturers and our government partners — to continue to develop innovative consumer education messages and tools to protect our customers.”
Bailey was recently appointed to the Partnership’s Board of Directors. Prior to joining GMA, she served as president and CEO of the Personal Care Products Council (PCPC) from 2005-2009. Prior to joining PCPC, Ms. Bailey served as president and CEO of the Advanced Medical Technology Association (AdvaMed) and has served in the Reagan White House and as an advisor to Presidents Ford and Nixon.
“Food safety is GMA’s and the food and beverage industry’s number one priority,” said Bailey. “I am thrilled and honored to serve as vice chair of the PSFE. PSFE’s vital mission is critical to helping ensure that consumers are educated about the best ways to protect their families from foodborne illness. I strongly encourage GMA members and the entire industry to get behind PSFE and help Americans Fight BAC! ® and Be Food Safe.”
PFSE has designed successful food safety campaigns based on extensive consumer research, including the award-winning Fight BAC!® campaign to promote the proper handling of fruits and vegetables to ensure they are cleaned and stored correctly. It also developed the Be Food Safe campaign in partnership with the United States Department of Agriculture to reinforce the four basic consumer safe handling practices of clean, separate, cook and chill. The Be Food Safe program engages more than 55 retailers representing an estimated 8,000 retail stores. Be Food Safe retailers have access to and assist in the development of effective educational messages for consumers.
“To be effective in consumer food safety education, the Partnership will continue to grow its network of engaged partners and improve the reach and effectiveness of consumer programming,” said Shelley Feist, PFSE executive director. “An experienced board is critical to this work so the commitment of these two leaders is very exciting for the Partnership.”
Other members of the Board of Directors are: Robert E. Brackett, Grocery Manufacturers Association; Patricia K. Buck, Center for Foodborne Illness Research and Prevention; Stan Hazan, NSF International; Robert L. Garfield, American Frozen Food Institute; Judy A. Harrison, University of Georgia; Joanne Ivy, American Egg Board; Bryan Silbermann, Produce Marketing Association; Jennifer Weber, American Dietetic Association; Christopher Waldrop, Consumer Federation of America.
Participating Members of the Partnership for Food Safety Education:
American Dietetic Association
American Egg Board and the Egg Safety Center
American Frozen Food Institute
Association of Food and Drug Officials
Canned Food Alliance
Consumer Federation of America
Food Marketing Institute
Grocery Manufacturers Association
Institute of Food Technologists
International Association for Food Protection
International Dairy-Deli-Bakery Association
International Food Information Council Foundation
National Chicken Council
National Pork Board
National Turkey Federation
Produce Marketing Association
United Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Association
Federal Government Liaisons:
National Center for Infectious Diseases/Division of Bacterial and Mycotic Diseases Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
Environmental Protection Agency
Food & Drug Administration/Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition (CFSAN)
U.S. Department of Agriculture/Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS)
Canadian Partnership for Consumer Food Safety Education
For more information about the Partnership for Food Safety Education, please visit www.fightbac.org/.
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The Partnership for Food Safety Education unites industry associations, professional societies in food science, nutrition and health, consumer groups and the United States Department of Agriculture, the Environmental Protection Agency and from the Department of Health and Human Services, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Food and Drug Administration, to educate the public about safe food handling and preparation. The Partnership, a non-profit organization, is the creator and steward of the Fight BAC!® campaign, a food safety education program developed using scientifically based recommendations and resulting from an extensive consumer research process. Fight BAC!® materials are fully accessible online at www.fightbac.org and utilized by consumers, teachers, dietitians, public health officials, and extension agents across the United States.