A secure food system is one that prevents contamination of food by any source, as well as facilitates a predictable and steady supply of high quality and safe foods. There is a need for food safety information throughout the diverse Rhode Island community of educators, consumers, food service workers, food industry personnel and processors, and commercial fruit and vegetable growers. Federal and state regulations mandate specific training that promotes compliance in the RI food industry. Program expertise will continue to provide regional support for a variety of educational activities. Significant funding has been secured to continue to support food safety initiates across the state. This includes research, training and outreach relevant to the public and industry.

Situation and priorities:

The Food Safety priorities for the State of Rhode Island will be to continue to implement HACCP training for Rhode Island School Food Service operations and residential childcare facilities, to provide HACCP and sanitation education to seafood, juice/cider and meat/poultry processors , to present an annual food safety conference for public and private stakeholders, maintain a Good Agricultural Practices Program for commercial growers of fruits and vegetables, to provide GAP for homeowners using the Master Gardener Program as a method of delivery, and to maintain the RI Food Safety Certification and Recertification courses targeting food service establishments. Additionally, food safety education will be on-going for K-12 teachers, healthcare professionals and consumers.

Goals of this Program

To reduce food borne illness and control food hazards within public and private sectors.

Activities

• Continue to implement HACCP training for RI school food service operations
• Provide HACCP and sanitation education programs to a variety of food processors
• Host an annual Food Safety Conference for public and private stakeholders
• Maintain a Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) Program for commercial growers of fruit and vegetables
• Maintain RI Food Safety Manager courses
• Develop internet-based training on Food Safety issues
• Develop Food Safety Curriculum materials for Special Needs students (ages 16-21)
• Further development of time-temperature barcodes to continuously monitor the temperature of food
products.

Projects
Food Safety Education Program

The Rhode Island Food Safety Education Project is an integral part of the Department of Food Science and Nutrition at the University of Rhode Island. Through educational programs, the goal is to reduce the risk of food borne illness in Rhode Island. The program incorporates educational activities with state government, food service industry, school districts, and non-profit agencies. These activities often include food safety training for people in the food service industry. The food safety curricula is for use by health educators, volunteer food service workers, and for consultants in the food service industry.

Contact

Dr. Lori Pivarnik,
Coordinator, Food Safety Outreach / Research Program,
Nutrition and Food Sciences Department
URI Food Safety Education Program
pivarnik@uri.edu

Dr. Jodi Camberg
Assistant Professor
Cellular & Molecular Biology
CBLS Building Rm 479, 120 Flagg Road
Kingston RI 02881
cambergj@mail.uri.edu