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

20171205-FMI-Store Shoot-0689_edIn honor of International Food Professionals’ Day, today we salute the retail food safety professional who works tirelessly to ensure the food sold to customers is safe. 

Food is essential. It is necessary for life.  Every celebration, holiday and major event is centered around food--Wings for the super bowl, Ham for Easter, Turkey for Thanksgiving, Roast for Christmas, Sandwiches and Chips for school lunches, Burgers for a summer cookout, Cakes for Birthdays—you name the occasion and there is food. Beyond its necessity, food is essential for community and bringing people together.  Food retailers play an integral part of providing food to their communities.

Many employees, from various departments, including from purchasing, operations, consumer affairs, government relations, food safety, quality, supply chain, finance, are involved in the process of getting food to customers. The job of a retail food safety professional may not sound like the most glamourous job but it is vital to ensuring that the food sold in the stores is safe.  

Since starting at FMI, I have come to learn more about this profession. The retail food safety professional is a wearer of many hats. Their responsibility spans across many aspects of a retail operation and their knowledge goes beyond food safety and has a community like no other. They are committed to advancing food safety and they share a common goal of protecting their customers and their brands. The non-competitive nature of food safety allows retail food safety professionals to openly share best practices. Many food safety professionals from FMI member companies participate on FMI’s Food Protection Committee (FPC). FPC members meet on a regular basis to discuss food safety issues of public health significance and through collaboration develop resources, best practices, and food safety programs to enhance the industry's understanding of these issues.

For more information about FMI Food Safety or FMI’s Food Protection Committee, visit: www.fmi.org/foodsafety or contact us at foodsafetyteam@fmi.org.