2004 Kids Kick Off Food Safety EventStudents throughout Minnesota kick off the statewide food safety effort.
In September 2004, 800 students at Olson Middle School in Bloomington and Monroe Community School in St. Paul participated in the third and final year of the successful statewide effort to educate young people about food safety. In support of this effort, the governor proclaimed September as Minnesota Food Safety Education Month. These events have kicked off each year’s effort to secure sponsors to place an SOS food safety tool kit in every public school district in the state.
The Kick Offs featured a demonstration of Safe or Sorry (SOS), a food safety curriculum developed by the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH). The assembly included a skit in which the school principal and two other make believe chefs leave a trail of germs while mishandling a rubber chicken. The humorous dramatization was designed to illustrate some common kitchen blunders that could – in real life – make people who eat the food severely ill. Also highlighted were the importance of handwashing, food irradiation and other preventive measures.
The Kids Kick Offs were sponsored by a broad coalition of private sector groups, government agencies and local partners. The list includes the MDH Food Safety Center, the Minnesota Farm Bureau, the Minnesota Beef Council, the Minnesota Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety Task Force, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, U.S. Department of Agriculture, the Minnesota Department of Education, the University of Minnesota Extension Services, the University of Minnesota Department of Animal Science, schools’ staff, schools’ food service, local public health, and local county Farm Bureau staff.
An irradiated hamburger cookout for students, parents, staff and guests was held after the assembly. Celebrity burger flippers, including Governor Pawlenty and local and state dignitaries. Sponsors of the cookouts were the Minnesota Beef Council, which donated the hamburger, and the school’s food service.
Each student received a food safety goodie bag valued at $30 with items donated by all partners.