Revitalizing the Future of Food Safety Extension
Originally established to address agricultural needs by applying research and education in U.S. communities, the Cooperative Extension System (CES) has become increasingly involved in food safety through the supply chain. CES plays an integral role in food safety through consumer education, food employee training, regulatory guidance, and agricultural education for youth and students. CES food safety efforts have evolved to respond to current events and evolving public needs; subsequently, CES personnel communicated a myriad of challenges, including overextension within their roles, dwindling financial support, and pedagogical shifts. As a result, CES personnel have opted for creative, innovative, and timely solutions that can be harnessed by others with ties to CES. This article is based on a roundtable with Extension experts on “Revitalizing the Future of Food Safety Extension,” held at the 2019 International Association for Food Protection Annual Meeting detailing this imperative. This article serves as (i) a consolidated framework resource for educational purposes, (ii) an invitation to collaborate with food safety CES personnel, and (iii) a call for support and advocacy for CES and those within it. It also highlights the value and impact CES has, and will continue to have, in making food safer and more equitable.
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