EDISON, N.J. -- ShopRite Supermarkets here recently conducted a program to bring public-health messages to consumers.
Called "Fight BAC! and Softsoap Lather Up for Good Health," the program was a collaboration between American Public Health Association affiliates in New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania and the Colgate-Palmolive Co., New York.
In observance of Food Safety Month last month, health department representatives distributed free materials and products to shoppers via health communication centers in more than 40 ShopRite stores.
The program follows the recent E. coli outbreak in New York state. Public health officials believe that up to 15% of the cases were caused through secondary transmission in homes due to inadequate hand-washing.
According to Cheryl Macik, consumer and corporate affairs manager at Wakefern Food Corp., Elizabeth, N.J., several ShopRites with shopper child care centers held special hand-washing demonstrations for children during the program. "Consumers received free Softsoap samples and food-safety literature," said Macik.
Sylvia H. Bookbinder, president of the NJPHA, said she believes retailers can continue the food-safety message. "The business community is an essential partner in our efforts to promote public health. Our collaboration serves as an example that working together helps maintain a safe food supply, both in the stores and at home."
Macik agreed. "The Fight BAC! program is a simple but powerful tool that helps us communicate to customers that food safety is a shared responsibility."