Wyoming Food Safety Coalition

Purpose:
The purpose of the Coalition shall be to educate the public as to food safety practices and to reduce the risk of food borne illness.

History:
In the early 1990’s the Wyoming Environmental Health Association (WEHA), used to provide one food safety training each year in Wyoming. The WEHA board explored the idea of trying to do more than one training annually. There was hesitation on the expenses and worry that WEHA may not be able survive financially if it were to provide additional food safety trainings. During that time, Manager John Misock, of the Wyoming Department of Agriculture (WDA), agreed to fund the provision of eight food safety courses in Wyoming. The training program was developed and the courses were held. It was a success, but time consuming. WEHA decided to approach the University of Wyoming Extension (UWE) educators to join forces. Linda Melcher, (UWE), applied for a USDA grant to fund the venture and was awarded for the project. This is when the WFSC was formed and by-laws were established. The coalition received $25,000/year to develop training materials and conduct food safety trainings. It took time to get any returns for the trainings conducted. Expenses were being met and little by little materials were added for training. Some examples include; black lights and glo germ were purchased for each team in Wyoming, hand washing stickers, training books, and ServSafe materials. The cost for the Intermediate and Advanced printing was and currently is being done through UW. This is a huge price break. The purchase of the “Clean Team Tent” for public demonstrations has been utilized. In 1999 the grant ended and the coalition had to be self-supporting.

Currently:
WFSC has 85 members. Educators represent a variety of Wyoming agencies. The outcome of the WFSC can be found in the annual impact statements found on this website. Clearly as the coalition numbers grow and the amount of food safety trainings increase the state of Wyoming has benefited from the WFSC’s efforts to reduce foodborne illness.