By Adam Friedlander, MS, CFS, Manager, Food Safety and Technical Services, FMI; and Krystal Register, MS, RDN, LDN, Director, Health and Well-being, FMI
Food Safety and Family Meals

The time is right to equip families with food safety skills and healthy eating habits at home, especially as they cook and enjoy more family meals together. With registered dietitians and food safety experts taking on greater responsibilities, the food industry is uniquely positioned to help shoppers achieve their health and well-being goals through consumer outreach and education.

In a recent study funded by the FMI Foundation, researchers suggested a positive association between family meal frequency and dietary outcomes, including an increase in fruit and vegetable intake. With National Family Meals Month™ just six months away, FMI looks forward to supporting our retailer, supplier and community collaborator partners in staying strong with the Family Meals Movement! Consider these helpful resources as your organization continuously promotes the value of family meals, keeping both food safety and healthy eating top of mind:

  • When developing recipes, always include food safety and hygiene prompts from the Safe Recipe Style Guide.
  • Encourage shoppers to build healthy habits aligned with the Dietary Guidelines by Starting Simple with the MyPlate App.
  • Utilize FoodKeeper and SmartLabel resources to provide shoppers important information about quality, safety and nutritional product attributes.

At the 2021 Consumer Food Safety Education Virtual Conference, hosted by the Partnership for Food Safety Education (PFSE), FMI proudly presented on “Staying Strong with Family Meals and Food Safety” in front of one of the nation’s largest gatherings of food safety professionals. The theme of this year’s conference was “Now You Have My Attention: Promoting Hand Hygiene & Food Safety Education for Everyone.” Some of the key takeaways from our presentation include:

  • Turn “Clean, Separate, Cook, Chill” into a lifestyle.
    • Wash hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
    • Strive for continuous improvement and small behavior changes in the home kitchen.
    • Develop strong food safety skills when following or creating recipes.
  • Become more mindful around individuals with a higher risk of illness and food allergies.

    • Contact your local health department and physician for suspected food poisoning.
    • Follow FDA and USDA recalls and public health alerts.
  • Collaborate with BAC Fighters and utilize PFSE resources.
  • Stay STRONG and have FUN with Family Meals and Food Safety.
    • Practice mise en place techniques.
    • Incorporate nutrition, sustainability, inclusiveness, cost effectiveness and creativity into family meals.

To view the entire presentation, please click on the video below. To learn more about how health and well-being and food safety can have a more prominent focus within your organization’s family meals advocacy efforts, please contact the FMI team.