By: Ashley Eisenbieser, MS, CFS, Director, Food and Product Safety Programs, Food Marketing Institute

Memorial Day weekend signals that summer is here and the grilling season has officially started. This week families will head to their local grocery store or place a special online order to stock up on this season’s cookout supplies, and food retailers can take this opportunity to remind customers that a delicious and healthy barbeque begins with the basic food safety practices in order to prevent foodborne illness. To help retailers support these grill masters in preparing a safe and healthy meal, the Partnership for Food Safety Education offers a number of consumer education resources for retailers to connect with their customers on food safety.

Customers have confidence in the food supply found at grocery stores. Ninety-five percent of U.S. shoppers report that they trust their grocery store to ensure that the food they purchase is safe. To maintain high consumer confidence, retailers can engage with their customers by reminding them to keep the  Core Four Practices for Food Safety —Clean, Separate, Cook, Chill—top-of-mind at home.

Want to engage more with your customers on food safety?

Here are five actions food retailers can take to connect with their customers and make them more aware of important food safety practices at the store, and at home:

1. Equip customers with the tools for a safe shopping experience

Provide plastic bags at the meat counter and throughout the store to prevent cross contamination. Here’s a ready-to-print shelf tag that gives customers the message to avoid cross contamination.

2. Send customers home with an important message

Remind customers to separate raw meat, poultry, seafood and eggs from other foods, such as produce, in their shopping cart, shopping bags and in their refrigerator at home. Print your store’s meat bags with this Don’t Wing It graphic, print your store’s produce bags with these ProducePro graphics, or give your customers the gift of a message magnet to put on their refrigerator!

3. Get social with food safety

Share food safety tips and messages like this infographic on your store’s social media accounts. Your followers will thank you and love your stores even more!

4. Build employees’ food safety knowledge

Use the science behind the messages flyer to arm your store associates with facts and talking points about safe poultry handling so you can better guide customers on preventing cross contamination when shopping and at home.

5. Continue to offer good food that is safe and customers love

Your customers can enjoy delicious poultry recipes, at home, and be aware of the risks of cross-contamination. Download and distribute poultry recipes with food safety instructions.

For more retailer resources to connect with your customers on important food safety topics, visit or