Media Centre
2010/11/30

Cultivating the Next Generation of Food Safety Experts

TORONTO, Nov. 30, 2010 (Canada NewsWire via COMTEX) -- Maple Leaf Foods and Science Teachers' Association of Ontario bring innovative food safety resources into the classroom


Maple Leaf Foods and the Science Teachers' Association of Ontario (STAO) have launched a series of innovative resources to increase elementary and secondary school teachers' awareness of food safety and support curriculum-related areas of study.


"Maple Leaf Foods is committed to investing in food safety education both for our employees, with consumers and in the classroom," says Dr. Randy Huffman, Chief Food Safety Officer, Maple Leaf Foods. "We are pleased to partner with the Science Teachers' Association of Ontario as it allows us to advance our objective of building awareness about food safety. Discussions in the classroom will help the next generation understand where the risks are and the roles of government, food companies and the consumer in contributing to safer food."


STAO, with the support of Maple Leaf Foods, has developed a comprehensive package of food safety teaching resources, including grade-specific curriculum materials, background information for teachers, teaching and evaluation strategies, student worksheets, resource lists and online tools. Part of the curriculum also focuses on careers in the food industry.


"After reviewing various elementary and secondary curriculum units, we found that food safety resources would significantly enhance many areas of study within the science and technology curriculum in the elementary panel, and science in the secondary panel," says Donna Stack-Durward, STAO President. "For example, food safety issues can be integrated into courses dealing with public health, microbiology, or nutritional science. Incorporating food safety teaching materials within these and many other curriculums, is another way we are able to further our mission to encourage excellence in science education through leadership and training in the classroom."


In August 2008, Listeria was found in products produced by Maple Leaf which resulted in a Listeriosis outbreak that claimed the lives of 23 Canadians.  Since then, Maple Leaf has made significant improvements in all areas of food safety to improve its food safety program.  To learn more, visit www.mapleleafpledge.com.


About Science Teachers' Association of Ontario The Science Teachers' Association of Ontario (STAO) is the professional association for over 2000 teachers in the elementary, secondary and post-secondary levels. Its mission is to encourage excellence in science education through leadership and training. One of the ways by which the association provides service to teachers is through the development and distribution of exemplary science (secondary) and science and technology (elementary) resources that promote excellence in the classroom. To learn more about STAO, visit its website at www.stao.org.


About Maple Leaf Foods Inc. Maple Leaf Foods Inc. is a leading Canadian food processing company. Headquartered in Toronto, Canada, the Company employs approximately 22,500 people at its operations across Canada and in the United States, the United Kingdom and Asia. The Company had sales of $5.2 billion in 2009.


SOURCE: Maple Leaf Foods Inc.


Maple Leaf Media Relations Hotline, Ph: 416-926-2020
Science Teachers' Association of Ontario (STAO/APSO), Ph: 1-800-461-2264


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