FSIS Outreach Expands Food Safety Knowledge

When the Food Safety Discovery Zone visited a Baltimore expo on March 21, at least 5,000 visitors stopped by for tours and prizes.

The USDA Food Safety Discovery Zone makes the second stop on its Spring 2012 tour Wednesday with a two-hour visit to FDA headquarters in Washington, D.C. The first appearance of the mobile food safety attraction was at Baltimore's B'More Healthy Expo on March 21. Cathy Cochran, a public affairs specialist for the Food Safety and Inspection Service, reported five experts staffing it gave interactive tours and food safety prizes to at least 5,000 visitors in one day.

FSIS' Bridgette Keefe-Hodgson, who communicates through American Sign Language, estimated about 15 deaf expo attendees "stopped by the Discovery Zone, and each stuck around for quite some time to see what they could learn," Cochran wrote in a post on a USDA blog. "They were thrilled that FSIS has a series of YouTube videos in ASL, called SignFSIS, on preventing food poisoning, and Bridgette wrote down the URL for her pet project so the videos could be found later. One happy customer told her, 'Wow, it is truly fantastic to see a deaf employee working at the FSIS booth. For me, that makes it so much easier to ask food safety questions directly in ASL.'"

A schedule of future stops and more information about the Discovery Zone are available at its website.

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