UK Food Standards Agency selects NSF International to work with 2,000 food establishments to improve food safety practices in time for the Olympics

ANN ARBOR, Mich. – NSF International, a global independent public health organization with nearly 70 years of food safety expertise, has been selected by the UK Food Standards Agency (FSA) to help improve the food safety handling practices of catering businesses and restaurants in preparation for the 2012 Summer Olympic Games. To accomplish this, NSF food safety experts will utilize a new, innovative behavior-based education model developed with their partner Cognisco, a global provider of situational judgement, behavior changing employee assessments.  The model will be used to identify knowledge gaps and refocus employee learning and development to improve their food safety handling practices. The ultimate goal is to increase employees’ knowledge and confidence level when it comes to establishing and following food safety practices.

As part of the FSA’s Play It Safe Campaign, NSF food safety experts will assist the FSA in ensuring food handlers in approximately 2,000 local restaurants and catering businesses are coached in food safety hygiene and handling practices, such as handwashing. Helping to ensure effective food handling practices is essential as more than 14 million meals are expected to be served during the Olympics and Paralympics across 40 locations.*

NSF International has trained food handlers and food business operators in the UK hotel, catering and hospitality sectors for more than 26 years and was voted National Training Centre of the Year in 2010 for food safety training. NSF’s Training and Education team, which includes experienced trainers and occupational psychologists, has developed practical food safety videos and animated materials, as well as the delivery of one-on-one coaching for food businesses.

Heading up the design and development of the program is David Edwards, Director of NSF-CMi, an NSF International company and global provider of food safety services. “At NSF, we develop effective and innovative food safety solutions using our technical expertise and industry insight. Now and after the Olympics, we will continue to utilize these resources to provide support to local authorities to strengthen food safety practices,” said Edwards.

“Our focus has always been to deliver high quality coaching and training, using our technical expertise and industry insight to develop effective and innovative content and materials. We will be looking at how we can use these new materials in innovative ways after the Olympics to provide ongoing support to local authorities in their bid to drive up food hygiene standards in their areas.”

“The Summer Games are expected to attract more than 10 million spectators. Helping food businesses to adopt effective food safety handling practices and raise their standards is an important part of the Food Standards Agency strategy to step up food safety efforts around Olympic venues,” said Sarah Appleby, Head of Enforcement and Local Authority Delivery at the FSA. “NSF International in conjunction with the FSA has developed an innovative and practical approach to food safety coaching that allows us to make the greatest impact on food handling practices with our resources.”

Upcoming Seminar: Applying the Behavior-Based Food Safety Training Model

NSF International food safety experts will offer a seminar on their new behavior-based food safety training model this summer for companies that are interested in learning more. For more information, contact Dan Fone at +1 734-214-6241 or dfone@nsf.org.

Editor’s note: To schedule an interview with an NSF International food safety expert, contact Greta Houlahan at houlahan@nsf.org or 734-913-5723.

About NSF International: NSF International is an independent organization that writes standards, tests and certifies products for the food, water and consumer goods industries to minimize adverse health effects and protect the environment (nsf.org). Founded in 1944, NSF is committed to protecting human health and safety worldwide. NSF is a World Health Organization Collaborating Centre for Food and Water Safety and Indoor Environment.

The NSF Global Food Division provides experienced and accredited services across all supply chain sectors, from agriculture, produce, processing, distribution and dairy, to seafood, retail and restaurants. Services include Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI) certification (SQF, BRC, GLOBALG.A.P., FSSC, IFS, Aquaculture Certification Council (ACC)), Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) certification, plus expert auditing, consulting and technical services, HACCP validation and inspection, and organic and gluten-free certification through QAI (Quality Assurance International). NSF is also the leading certifier of foodservice equipment, nonfood compounds and bottled water/beverages.

Additional NSF International services include dietary supplement and nutritional ingredient certification, drinking water certification and safety audits, and management systems registrations (e.g. ISO 9001, 22000, 14001).

* BBC News: British food pledge for Olympics

CONTACT: Greta Houlahan
NSF International
Phone: +1 734-913-5723
Email: houlahan@nsf.org