JOURNAL: Enhancing Food-Safety Education through Shared Teaching Resources

ABSTRACT: The American public is concerned about food safety, and there is a growing realization that we are ill equipped to handle major food-borne illness outbreaks and bioterrorism. Since veterinary medicine plays an important role in assuring the safety of our nation’s food supply, we would like to present to veterinary and public health educators a newly emerging resource for food-safety educational materials.

This article describes an integrative collaborative approach for the creation and dissemination of engaging food-safety teaching resources for veterinary faculty. This USDA-funded project, Design to Dissemination: Developing Materials and Repository for Integrative Veterinary Food Safety Education, involves expert teachers in diverse fields and from many veterinary schools. The purpose of the project is to create materials that teach students food safety from farm to fork, and it offers teachers clinically relevant teaching resources that are difficult to create or locate. The educational materials are being created as smaller ‘‘building blocks’’ of content, commonly referred to as ‘‘learning objects’’ (LOs), focused on individual learning objectives. These learning objects are placed in the Veterinary Food Safety Education Learning Object Repository, where they are catalogued, stored, and kept accessible and where faculty can search, evaluate, and download teaching materials to use in their courses. In this way the learning objects can be more easily shared and reused or repurposed for other courses and applications. With this article we hope to excite faculty in veterinary schools and public-health programs and encourage them to use the repository and participate in piloting the educational materials.

Key words: food safety, distance education, e-learning, public safety

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