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"Do Not Share Food With Your Cat..."

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April 3, 2009

Take one part nutrition education, combine it with creative art work, and dash of pint-sized perspective, and you have the ingredients for a new food safety calendar created by local students.

Thirteen students from the San Marcos Unified School District were named “Junior Food Safety Officers” today by the County Department of Environmental Health at a ceremony at Joli Ann Leichtag Elementary School in Vista.

Watch Video: Students Named Junior Food Safety Officers (Windows Media)

The children submitted the winning entries used in the calendar.  They were asked to complete the sentence, “Food safety is…” with an illustration.  A sample of their unique advice:

  • Do not share food with your cat. (Karla Mendoza, third grade)
  • Not eating food on the ground. (Ashley Gonzales, third grade)
  • Don’t eat when you touch money. First, wash your hands. (Melissa Ramirez, third grade)
  • Eating at places with an “A” card. (Jordan Feffer, second grade)

Department of Environmental Health Director Gary Erbeck and Wilma Wooten, M.D., M.P.H., County Public Health Officer presented the winners with a plaque and medal.  They also talked to the student body about the importance of food safety and healthy food choices.

“Even the most nutritious food can be unhealthy if it is not prepared and stored properly.  The children are learning to keep cold and hot foods at the right temperatures, keep utensils clean and separate raw food from ready-to-eat food,” said Erbeck.

“This is information the kids can easily share with their parents to keep the whole family safe and healthy.”

The County is a partner in the school district’s Nutrition Advisory Council, an innovative program to involve students in choosing which foods are served at school.  Three campuses currently participate in the program, which includes nutrition education, food sampling, and food safety information.

This is the first calendar created for the program.  In addition to the children’s contributions, the calendar features food safety tips from the Department of Environmental Health.

View the calendar (PDF) 

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