August 29, 2022
Kathleen Splane, University of Delaware, has been chosen by the Association of Northeast Extension Directors (NEED) to receive the 2022 Northeast Exceptional Local Educator Award.
Ms. Splane was nominated and honored in celebration of her delivery and adaptation of food safety programs in communities across the state of Delaware.
Food safety in Delaware is handled through several educational programs conducted by Ms. Splane. ServSafe and Dine Safe work with quantity food preparers to keep food safe from food delivery to consumption. Food Safety for Entrepreneurs, developed by Splane and the University of Delaware Family and Consumer Sciences team targets agriculture producers and others seeking to create products for local sale. The program Would Your Kitchen Pass a Food Safety Inspection? targets consumers and helps ensure food safety in the home.
All four programs are offered statewide and more recently over Zoom. Over the last 5 years, Ms. Splane offered 78 learning opportunities reaching 1012 individuals. Evaluation shows increase in knowledge and willingness to use safe handling practices such as calibrating thermometers, handwashing properly, washing and sanitizing all food surfaces, cooling foods more rapidly, holding hot foods at or above 135°F and holding cold foods at or below 41° F. It is estimated that the improved food safety behaviors adopted by trained participants potentially impact over 100,000 consumers per year.
Ms. Splane will be honored during a regional celebration webinar in November 2022. The exact date and time of that webinar will be announced on the NEED website. A recording of Ms. Splane’s presentation will be added to the Award Winners Presentations page here: https://northeastextension.org/need-exceptional-local-program-awards/.