By: Hilary Thesmar, PhD, RD, CFS, Chief Food and Product Safety Officer and Senior Vice President, Food Safety Programs, Food Marketing Institute

CFSEC 2019As a registered dietitian and food safety professional, I think it’s terrific that March 2019 marks not only National Nutrition Month but also the kick-off of the 7thconsumer food safety education conference sponsored by the non-profit Partnership for Food Safety Education. After all, healthy eating is safe eating, and we want all families to have access to evidence-based food safety messages.  The conference is March 6-8, 2019, at the Swan and Dolphin Resort, and I am very proud to serve as co-chair, along with my colleague in food safety, Mike Robach. 

If you care about the prevention of foodborne illness at home and at work consider attending this extremely valuable conference. Over the years, I’ve had the opportunity to attend several times -- here are a few reasons why you’ll want to:

 1.  Get an update on current research and new strategies for consumer intervention.

We work hard to make this conference a great blend of research, practice and passion.  In the survey of attendees at the 2017 conference 100 percent of respondents said they would make changes in their practice as a result of information presented at this conference. 

For many professionals who care deeply about helping people reduce their risk of foodborne illness, this conference offers solutions to address the challenges of improving safe food handling and hand hygiene practices at home.  Food safety is the foundation of food retailers’ relationships with their customers. When it comes to food safety, consumers rely on retailers as a trusted source of information. Your investment in a short two days with us will boost the effectiveness of your food safety messages and enhance how you engage with customers on food safety. Many have found that learnings from this conference connect well to the long and short-term objectives of their department or organization.  It’s a great way to get focused on meeting consumer education and outreach objectives for the year! 

As we heard from a conference attendee in 2017 – “Each presentation I attended was useful to me because it gave either background about an issue or potential solution to address issues.”

2.  Meet new collaborators in food safety education. 

This event will draw over 400 public and private sector professionals who are involved in educating people about food safety. This event will provide a great opportunity to network with others who could become valuable collaborators and partners.  As a group we’ll share ideas and spark inspiration for consumer food safety education and outreach best-practices.

3.  Deepen your professional skills and earn CEUs

The field of professionals who work in consumer food safety education is wide-ranging.  Family and Consumer Sciences professionals, environmental health and dietetic professionals, public health educators – these are just some of the professionals that are part of the BAC Fighter network of consumer food safety educators. We’ll be offering continuing education units (CEUs) who meet the needs of people who are credentialed by a variety of professional organizations.  Make sure to check at the conference home page often for updates on CEUs and how many you can earn by attending the March conference.   If you want more, we will also be offering pre-conference workshops on March 6. 

I hope you will join me at From Consumers to Chefs:  Food Safety Education Matters, March 6-8, 2019 at the Swan and Dolphin Resort, Lake Buena Vista, Florida. 

From Consumers to Chefs:  Food Safety Education Matters, March 6-8, 2019 at the Swan and Dolphin Resort is the 7th in a series of food safety education conferences sponsored by the non-profit Partnership for Food Safety Education. For more conference information and to register please visit