The Hawaii Department of Agriculture said today it began airing three public service announcements promoting agricultural food safety in the community.
They will air on Spectrum cable channels statewide through the end of the year, joining an earlier PSA on rat lungworm disease that debuted over the summer.
Besides encouraging farmers to follow good agricultural practices, the 30-second PSAs also urge home gardeners to read labels for pest control products carefully and use only as directed. The third PSA encourages everyone, including farmers, restaurants and consumers to “make sure you’re doing your part to keep food safe for all of us” through the proper handling, cooking and storage of food.
“Recent cases of food-related illnesses have increased public concern and we all need to pay more attention to food safety from the farm to the table,” said Scott Enright, chairperson of HDOA in a press release. “We hope that these public service announcements encourage everyone to learn more about good agricultural and good food handling practices.”
The PSA geared toward farmers encourages them to become certified in good agricultural practices or GAP. The GAP certification involves a voluntary audit that verifies that vegetables and fruits are produced, packed, handled and stored as safely as possible. More information is available at hdoa.hawaii.gov.
For home gardeners, the PSA advises trying “to control rodents, snails and snugs and keep animals out of the garden” while also remembering “to wash all your produce thoroughly before consuming.”
The third PSA emphasizes that everyone, from farmer to restaurant to consumer, plays a role in keeping food safe.
The department’s Quality Assurance Division produced the PSAs with $75,000 secured through the state legislature for food safety education.
The videos are also posted at the following links: