Penn State Extension assistant director and food safety professor Catherine Cutter hopes to internationalize education programs to make an impact on improving food safety around the world. While basic knowledge of preparing food in a safe way may be more common knowledge in the United States, there are low levels of food safety knowledge in other countries. Americans take these practices for granted such as washing hands with soap, refrigerating perishables, and not cutting raw meat and vegetables on the same surface in order to prevent infection.
The World Health Organization estimates that almost one in every 10 people in the world annually get sick after eating contaminated food and the deaths of approximately 125,000 children under the age of 5 every year due to unsafe food handling practices. Preventing these unsafe practices requires education of food safety. To address this, Professor Cutter’s research team developed the Food-Safety System Management curriculum. She tested this curriculum with a group of students and instructors in Armenia and evaluated the student’s knowledge and behavior after the program. Additionally, she hopes to expand this comprehensive food safety training program for laboratory personnel working in food-testing laboratories in Africa. The program will utilize face-to-face training with lectures and hands-on laboratory exercises. But she does not want to stop here, Professor Cutter says that she hopes to expand curriculum to several other countries. As food safety is a global issue, Professor Cutter and Penn State recognize that they can play a part in making a difference not just in the United States but around the world.
For more information on this program from Penn State, read more here.More From: Penn State University
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