A group of Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service agents from the Panhandle received the Food Safety Award at the National Extension Association of Family and Consumer Science conference in San Antonio on Sept. 27.
The annual award recognizes outstanding innovative programming that has shown significant impact on food safety, according to the association’s guidelines.
With food safety as a primary concern for families both inside and outside the home, AgriLife Extension family and community health agents from across the Panhandle joined forces to help 10,267 adults and youth handle food safely through multiple approaches, the award presentation stated.
Recipients of the award and the counties they represented during the trainings are: Joan Gray-Soria, Gray; Billie Peden, Armstrong; Kay Herron-Rogers, Dallam/Hartley; Amalia Mata, Deaf Smith; Whitley Sprague, Hansford; Miquela Smith, Ochiltree; Amy Wagner, Randall; Wendy Hazzard, Wheeler; Carolyn Prill-Bennett, Moore; Chelsey Tillman, Oldham; and Lizabeth Gresham and Jennifer Nickell, Potter.
The award recipients along with all AgriLife Extension family and community health agents in the Texas Panhandle participate in the Better Living for Texans, or BLT, program. In 2017, District 1 BLT programs targeting Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program Education eligible recipients reached 220 participants with educational lessons on food safety, the award nomination stated.
In Potter and Randall counties, the agents partnered with Region 16 Educational Service Center to present Kids in the Kitchen to 96 migrant youth at their annual Health and Safety Fair. The Kids in the Kitchen session is a lesson on food safety, kitchen safety, washing fruits and vegetables, avoiding cross contamination, hands-on cooking skills, and increasing fresh vegetable and fruit consumption.
The course curriculum, Food Safety: It’s Our Business includes: facts about foodborne illness; biological, physical, and chemical contamination; personal hygiene; purchasing; receiving; storing; preparing; serving; Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points, or HACCP; cleaning; and pest control.
Through the application of science-based knowledge, AgriLife Extension creates high-quality, relevant continuing education that encourages lasting and effective change.