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The USDA Food Safety Discovery Zone Spreads Food Safety Education to Students and Health Enthusiasts in Washington, D.C.

As the nation’s capitol geared up for Halloween and midterm elections, the USDA Food Safety Discovery Zone (FSDZ) was equally busy at the end of October spreading its Be Food Safe messages to Washington, D.C. residents and tourists. In just one week, the FSDZ hosted a Food Safety Education Camp on Gallaudet University’s campus for students from Kendall Demonstration Elementary School and Maryland School for the Deaf, followed by an exhibit at the 2010 Marine Corps Marathon Health and Fitness Expo by GE, where over 100,000 health-conscious participants were ready to learn illness prevention measures.

The goal of the USDA Food Safety Education Camp is to reach out to young children about food safety, and the trip to Gallaudet University proved to be a success. This camp was especially meaningful and worthwhile for the FSDZ staff, and more than 70 students, teachers, and parents learned the importance of food safety through storytelling, the Food Safety Soccer Game, and the Food Safety Wheel Game. The students, familiar with nutritious lunches, were intrigued by the additional importance of using a cold pack or thermos to keep food at a safe temperature. The Food Safety and Inspection Service continues to reach out to deaf and hearing impaired consumers with its SignFSIS food safety videos in American Sign Language, which can be accessed here.

Just a few days later, the FSDZ was one of the biggest attractions at the Marine Corps Marathon Health and Fitness Expo. With its prime location near the main entrance, the mobile was the first stop for thousands of runners and volunteers supporting the Marine Corps. After taking a brief tour with her family, one avid runner exclaimed, “I’m glad I took my family in there, I’ve never seen anything like this. I’m going to tell some of my friends to visit because it’s good information.”

If you haven’t seen the USDA Food Safety Discovery Zone and its staff in action, the final event for the 2010 tour will be at the National Science Teachers Association 2010 Baltimore Area Conference, to be held at the Baltimore Convention Center on November 11-13, 2010. On Thursday, November 11, the event will be from 11:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. On Friday, November 12, the hours will be from 9:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m. The event will conclude on Saturday, November 13, from 9:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m. We hope to see you there!

Elementary students learn to Clean, Separate, Cook, and Chill by playing the Food Safety Soccer Game at the Food Safety Education Camp, held on Gallaudet University’s campus on October 27.

Elementary students learn to Clean, Separate, Cook, and Chill by playing the Food Safety Soccer Game at the Food Safety Education Camp, held on Gallaudet University’s campus on October 27.

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