Canadian Partnership for Consumer Food Safety Education

Frequently Asked Questions about the Partnership

1. What is the Canadian Partnership for Consumer Food Safety Education?
The Canadian Partnership for Consumer Food Safety Education (the Partnership) is a group of industry, consumer and government organizations that have joined to develop and implement a national safe food handling education program for consumers.

2. When was the Partnership formed?
The Partnership was formed in December, 1997 and officially incorporated in April, 1998.

3. Who are the Partners?
Current membership includes more than 35 industry, consumer and government organizations.

4. How did the Partnership members come together?
Prior to forming the Partnership, industry, consumer and government organizations had been working independently to educate consumers on safe food handling practices. During consultations between the interested parties, there was a strong desire to work together and, in turn, be more effective at reducing foodborne illness in Canada through consumer safe food handling education programs.

5. Is membership in the Partnership open to anyone?
Yes, there are different levels of membership, depending on the amount of money you wish to contribute to the Partnership (see Membership/Sponsorship Form).

6. What is the Partnership structure?
The Partnership is co-chaired by an industry and government representative and governed by a Board of Directors. Partnership operations are overseen by the Executive Director.

7. What is foodborne illness?
Foodborne illness, often called "food poisoning", occurs when a person gets sick from eating food that has been contaminated with bacteria, parasites or viruses, also known as 'microbes' and 'pathogens'. Foodborne illness is the largest class of emerging infectious diseases. This is due to changing population demographics, changing patterns of food production and consumption and new, re-emerging or drug resistant disease agents.

8. Who is responsible for ensuring that the food we eat is safe?
Everyone involved in the food chain, from the primary producer to the consumer, has a role to play in ensuring our food is safe to eat. The food industry and government work together to deliver food that is safe to consumers. The important, and sometimes forgotten, role of the consumer is to maintain the safety of that food by using safe food handling practices from the point of purchase.

9. How does the Partnership hope to reduce the risk of foodborne illness to the consumer?
The goal of the Partnership is: "To contribute to the reduction of foodborne illness in Canada by increasing awareness of safe food handling practices through the development and coordination of safe food handling education programs focused on the important role that the consumer has in keeping food safe."

10. What are the messages the Partnership will communicate to consumers?
There are four key messages which the Partnership communicates to consumers:
CLEAN: Wash hands and surfaces often;
CHILL: Refrigerate promptly;
COOK: Cook to proper temperatures; and
SEPARATE: Don't cross-contaminate.
These messages are the same messages used by the United States Partnership for Food Safety Education in their "FightBAC!®" Program.

11. Who can I contact for more information on foodborne illness?
Visit these Web sites:
The Canadian Food Inspection Agency at www.inspection.gc.ca
Health Canada at www.hc-sc.gc.ca