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DHSS Press Release

Dr. Kara Odom Walker, Secretary
Jill Fredel, Director of Communications
302-255-9047, Pager 302-357-7498

Date: September 13, 2017


DOVER, DE (September 13, 2017) - The Division of Public Health (DPH) Office of Food Protection is proud to partner with the Delaware Restaurant Association (DRA) to celebrate National Food Safety Month (NFSM). The collaboration will focus on sharing information on creating a culture of food safety in food establishments, on emergency preparedness and recovery, and promoting a food safety poster contest for DRA Education Foundation ProStart culinary students.

This is the 23rd year of NFSM. This year's National Restaurant Association (NRA) theme focuses on The Culture of Food Safety. As a focal point within the restaurant industry, food safety is now synonymous with an operation's reputation. There are many parts that make up an operation’s food safety culture, such as modeling behaviors, training, and positive reinforcement. All of these pieces combined help to build a strong foundation of food safety culture in an operation.

"Foodborne illnesses can be serious, even fatal in rare cases. Everyone in the food service business plays an important role in keeping Delawareans safe from foodborne illnesses," said DPH Director Dr. Karyl Rattay. "Through the work of our staff in the Health Systems Protection program, Office of Food Protection, and Infectious Disease and Epidemiology, we will continue to ensure the safest practices possible are being followed throughout the First State."

To celebrate NFSM and explore how to create a culture of food safety within food operations, DPH encourages restaurant owners and managers to download and share weekly activities, posters, and infographics to keep staff informed and engaged. Join the conversation on social media by using the hashtag #NFSM. New training tools and resources will be made available each week including activities, posters, infographics, and videos. DRA will also be sharing food safety information with its members during NFSM, including posters, flyers, and information regarding food safety and food safety training courses. The themes for each week are:

DPH, and the DRA Education Foundation are also sponsoring their annual Food Safety Month Poster contest. The contest is open to high school students in the Foundations’ ProStart Culinary Program. Posters must focus on one of the weekly NFSM themes. Cash prizes will be awarded to students who created the top three posters. The ProStart program for the first place student winner will also receive a cash prize. Entries are due Sept. 29, 2017. Anyone with questions should call the DRA at (302)-738-2545.

To join the conversation, follow @ServSafe on Twitter and use the hashtag #NFSM. NFSM was created in 1994 by the NRA to heighten the awareness of food safety education. For more information and resources on Delaware food safety, visit For more information and resources on NFSM, visit For more information and resources on Emergency Preparedness and Recovery in Food Establishments, visit

The Delaware Restaurant Association is the state trade association dedicated to promoting, protecting, and educating Delaware's food service industry. Delaware's 2,000 restaurants employ 50,000 people with an economic impact of over $2 billion in annual sales. Delaware restaurants are the largest small business employer in the state and the largest component of Delaware’s tourism industry. For more information about ProStart, visit For a calendar of upcoming Delaware ServSafe classes and registration information, visit

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that each year 48 million people get sick from a foodborne illness, 128,000 are hospitalized, and 3,000 die.

A person who is deaf, hard-of-hearing, deaf-blind or speech-disabled can call the DPH phone number above by using TTY services. Dial 7-1-1 or 800-232-5460 to type your conversation to a relay operator, who reads your conversation to a hearing person at DPH. The relay operator types the hearing person's spoken words back to the TTY user. To learn more about TTY availability in Delaware, visit

Delaware Health and Social Services is committed to improving the quality of the lives of Delaware's citizens by promoting health and well-being, fostering self-sufficiency, and protecting vulnerable populations. DPH, a division of DHSS, urges Delawareans to make healthier choices with the 5-2-1 Almost None campaign: eat 5 or more fruits and vegetables each day, have no more than 2 hours of recreational screen time each day

Delaware Health and Social Services is committed to improving the quality of the lives of Delaware's citizens by promoting health and well-being, fostering self-sufficiency, and protecting vulnerable populations.