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DHSS Press Release

Rita Landgraf, Secretary
Jill Fredel, Director of Communications
302-255-9047, Cell 302-357-7498
Email: jill.fredel@delaware.gov

Date: September 1, 2016


Restaurants and Public Health to Partner

Newark (September 1, 2016)

"Food safety and security is the top priority for America's one million restaurants," said Sherman Brown, senior vice president of the National Restaurant Association's ServSafe food safety and handling program. "With over 130 million meals served daily, learning how to detect and protect against foodborne illness is top of mind in the restaurant and food service industry. This September, we'll provide the tools food service professionals need to protect themselves and their guests against foodborne illness."

This year's National Food Safety Month campaign will focus on protecting against some of the leading causes of foodborne illness - Norovirus and Hepatitis A. The DRA and DPH will highlight the sources of these viruses and provide tips and tools on how to detect and prevent the spread of foodborne illness through proper hand washing and cleaning procedures. New training tools and resources will be made available each week including activities, posters, infographics, and videos. The themes for each week are:

"The Division of Public Health is proud to observe National Food Safety Month with the DRA and food service industries across the country," said DPH Director Dr. Karyl Rattay. "Everyone in the food service business plays an important role in keeping Delawareans safe from foodborne illnesses and we will continue to ensure the safest practices possible are being followed throughout the First State."

In 2015 Delaware adopted the most recent edition of the Food and Drug Administration Food Code, which now requires food service license holders to have food safety certified managers in their businesses. The DRA is the industry trade association dedicated to training and education, and offers the nationally-recognized ServSafe Food Safety Manager Training Course to fulfill state guidelines.

"Training and educating staff on proper food safety practices is the best way to offer consumers protection in our restaurants," said DRA President and CEO Carrie Leishman. "Each year over 48 million people, or one in six Americans, gets sick from consuming contaminated food or beverages. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention notes that restaurants with managers certified in food safety are less likely to have foodborne illness outbreaks, have better food safety practices, and have fewer violations on their inspections."

National Food Safety Month was created in 1994 by the National Restaurant Association to heighten the awareness of food safety education. Each year, they feature a new theme and create free training activities and posters for the restaurant and food service industry to help reinforce proper food safety practices and procedures. The Delaware Restaurant Association will be mailing food safety toolkits to all members during September's Food Safety Month, including posters, flyers, and information regarding food safety and food safety training courses.

To join the conversation, follow @ServSafe on Twitter and use the hashtag #NFSM.

For more information and resources on National Food Safety Month, visit FoodSafetyMonth.com

For a calendar of upcoming Delaware ServSafe classes and registration information, visit www.delawarerestaurant.org/calendar.

The Delaware Restaurant Association is the state trade association dedicated to promoting, protecting, and educating Delaware's food service industry. Delaware's 2,000 restaurants employ 50,000 people with an economic impact of over $2 billion in annual sales. Delaware Restaurants are the largest small business employer in the state and the largest component of Delaware's tourism industry.

Delaware Health and Social Services is committed to improving the quality of the lives of Delaware's citizens by promoting health and well-being, fostering self-sufficiency, and protecting vulnerable populations. DPH, a division of DHSS, urges Delawareans to make healthier choices with the 5-2-1 Almost None campaign: eat 5 or more fruits and vegetables each day, have no more than 2 hours of recreational screen time each day (includes TV, computer, gaming), get 1 or more hours of physical activity each day, drink almost no sugary beverages.

Delaware Health and Social Services is committed to improving the quality of the lives of Delaware's citizens by promoting health and well-being, fostering self-sufficiency, and protecting vulnerable populations.