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Today We Celebrate World Health Day!

World Health Day

Did you know that today – April 7, 2015 – is World Health Day? Each year, organizations around the globe mark April 7 as the anniversary of the 1948 founding of the World Health Organization (WHO). This year’s World Health Day is dedicated to spreading the word about the critical importance of food safety, with the theme “From Farm to Plate, Make Food Safe.” So, why should we in the foodservice packaging industry care?

Because food safety and public health are at the very core of why single-use foodservice packaging was invented over 100 years ago. For some of you, you may be tired of me clamoring on about the sanitary benefits of foodservice packaging, but it bears repeating over and over, finding new opportunities to remind everyone about these benefits. This year’s World Health Day is a great chance to do so.

Food safety discussions typically focus on the food itself, and that is certainly critical, but we must remember that contamination can happen anywhere, from farm to plate, as the theme suggests. But let’s not forget that single-use foodservice packaging can play a vital role as the prepared food is ultimately transported from the foodservice kitchen to consumer.

That would be one reason that FPI is a co-sponsor of the Samuel J. Crumbine Consumer Protection Award. This prestigious award is given annually to local environmental health jurisdictions that demonstrate unsurpassed achievement in providing outstanding food protection services to their communities. The purpose of the award is to encourage innovative programs and methods that reduce or eliminate the occurrence of foodborne illnesses, recognize the importance of food protection at the local level and stimulate public interest in foodservice sanitation.

Not only do we support the goals of this award, but it’s also our way of honoring Dr. Samuel J. Crumbine himself. Dr. Crumbine was a sanitarian, physician and public health pioneer from Kansas who was renowned for his innovative methods of improving public health protection. During a train trip, he witnessed a tuberculosis patient drinking from a common drinking cup (typical in most public venues at the time), only to be followed by a young girl eagerly drinking from the same cup. He quickly realized the use of that reusable cup would lead to the spread of infectious diseases, and he had to do something. That fine doctor spent the next several years fighting with his own public health bureaucracy, and ultimately, he prevailed. In 1909, common drinking cups were banned on trains passing through Kansas, and by 1912, 24 states had banned the common cup.

Simply put, Dr. Crumbine is our hero. I am certain he would be grateful of our support of World Health Day.

Please help us promote the role that foodservice packaging can play to ensure the safe delivery of food. Join the conversation at #SafeFood.

Posted By Lynn M. Dyer (President) | 4/7/2015 2:27:35 PM