WASHINGTON, DC — February 28, 2005 — In an ongoing effort to prevent the occurrence of foodborne illness and to promote safe food handling practices, the Food Marketing Institute (FMI) announces the release of two updated training programs designed for supermarket employees: The Invisible Challenge and Food Safety Success: Supermarket Application of the Food Code.

The programs aim at increasing awareness of the vital role that food workers play in preventing foodborne illness and assuring that customers are taking home the safest and highest quality products.   Both are available in video and DVD format.

The new version of The Invisible Challenge is an update to the already successful food safety program. This update focuses on the challenge food handlers and supermarket managers face to control the bacteria and viruses that can cause foodborne illness. The program is divided into five focus areas:

  • Personal health and hygiene

  • Proper temperature and time control

  • Food handling and prevention of cross contamination

  • Proper cleaning and sanitizing procedures

  • New section on food allergens

This version also includes information on Norovirus and recent changes to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Food Code.

In Food Safety Success: Supermarket Application of the Food Code, retail food employees are taught good retail practices for safe food handling. Additionally, proper food handling guidelines are broken down by department, allowing the program to be viewed as a whole or in sections. Specific practices and procedures for the meat, deli, seafood, produce, bakery and general store departments are detailed. These guidelines are consistent with the latest changes to the FDA’s Food Code.

“Properly educating employees on safe food handling practices is the first line of defense in controlling the bacteria and viruses that can cause foodborne illness,” said Dr. Jill Hollingsworth, FMI’s group vice president of food safety programs. “Retailers are dedicated to providing customers with safe food, and these resources help to facilitate the process.”

To order The Invisible Challenge or Food Safety Success: Supermarket Application of the Food Code (VHS — $60 FMI members, $102 associate members, $120 nonmembers; DVD — $35 members, $60 associate members, $70 nonmembers), please contact the FMI Store at www.fmi.org/pub.