WASHINGTON, D.C. — Responding to the increasing use of food delivery services and as National Food Safety Education Month kicks off, the Partnership for Food Safety Education (PFSE) has launched a new national campaign to help food delivery users ensure the safety of their delivered foods. Prep Yourself: Food is on the Way, one of the first national food safety campaigns specifically targeting users of food delivery services, seeks to encourage safe food handling at home and educate consumers on what to consider when ordering from food delivery services.
"The coronavirus pandemic kicked food delivery usage into overdrive," said Shelley Feist, executive director of PFSE. "We're excited to have led the expert collaboration behind these new, consumer-tested resources. Using this campaign is a great way to start a conversation with people who want to ensure health and safety when ordering food to be delivered."
Food delivery services include meal kits, restaurant delivery and grocery delivery. According to an April 2020 survey conducted by Statista, more than one-third of both suburban and urban respondents said they used online food delivery services or restaurant apps to order food. According to the 2021 Food and Health Survey conducted by the International Food Information Council, 72% of Americans say the pandemic is changing the way they eat and prepare food. This study showed 42% of consumers are shopping for groceries online at least monthly.
"Where consumers get their food has changed, from around the corner to around the world. With foods now delivered to their homes by a variety of delivery models, empowering consumers with the knowledge they need to keep their families safe is key to the prevention of foodborne illnesses and a central tenet of FDA's New Era of Smarter Food Safety," said Frank Yiannas, deputy commissioner for food policy and response at the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). "We are grateful for the good work done by the Partnership for Food Safety Education to provide consumers with food safety educational messages during these changing times."
Prep Yourself: Food is on the Way includes digital advertising, social media and print collateral that can be integrated into food delivery service provider communications or other food safety educator communications. With a suite of downloadable resources, the PFSE encourages anyone who is interested in communicating about food safety in the delivery space to access the free materials. The PFSE will be utilizing the campaign resources throughout the month of September, National Food Safety Education Month, and beyond.
"The food industry needs resources to help communicate with consumers amid this changing landscape," said Steven Mandernach of the Association of Food and Drug Officials (AFDO). "PFSE's new Prep Yourself campaign will help food safety experts and other people who deal with consumers in the food safety space reach consumers with important information about how to keep food safe at home. We're in a new era of food safety, and it requires that everyone understand their role in maintaining the safety of our food from the farm to our tables."