Monday, September 14, 2015

September is Food Safety Month . . .

This year’s National Food Safety Month’s theme is “Let it Flow,” focusing on the flow of food through restaurants.  As restaurant customers, the tasty final product is what meets the eye.   Yet, many steps and procedures from receiving to serving, occur beforehand and behind the scenes to ensure the yummiest and safest meal reaches the table.
To help ensure food is safe when it reaches the customer, Jefferson County Public Health (JCPH) features several effective food safety programs that assist restaurant operators in educating their staff in the importance of food safety.
“Food establishments that consistently demonstrate a commitment to safe food handling and preparation are essential to our goal of reducing the incidence of food-borne illness," says Terri Leichtweis, Senior Environmental Health Specialist and TUFFS coordinator. “We want to recognize the staff and the management of these establishments for their prevention efforts through the Team UP for Food Safety or TUFFS initiative.”
Team Up For Food Safety (TUFFS) is designed to promote excellent food safety practices and give recognition to facilities that value food safety.  The program is voluntary, but it requires that a facility meet certain food safety criteria to qualify for the program. Current List of TUFFS Members. The TUFFS initiative is also intended to help build collaborative, effective partnerships between regulators and the food industry while at the same time, reducing risk factors that cause or contribute to foodborne illness. 
The next time you go out to eat, look for the TUFFS logo on the window or door of participating restaurants and mention it to the staff.   Posting of the TUFFS logo is an indication that the food service establishment is actively engaged in taking control of food safety risk factors and taking necessary actions toward reducing foodborne illness in Jefferson County.
Because everyone has a role in food safety, TUFFS members along with many other restaurant operators also participate in the Jefferson County Food Safety Forum.  The next meeting of the Forum is October 6, 2015 at 2:00 p.m.  This group of restaurant operators and JCPH food safety inspectors meet to discuss current foodborne illness concerns, and strive to improve food safety in Jefferson County. 

For more information on Jefferson County Public Health’s food safety program and food safety education opportunities view our web page or download the Excellence in Food Safety brochure. A convenient online class is also available in 5 languages at  

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