STOP is a national nonprofit public health organization dedicated to the prevention of illness and death from foodborne pathogens by:
STOP Founder Assists Author with the Writing of His Book Poisoned
This book focuses on the Jack-In-the Box Outbreak, which sickened hundreds of children and killed four. One of the children who perished was Roni’s six-year-old daughter, Lauren. STOP founder Roni offers her first-hand account about the events of the outbreak, and the difficult life and death decision with which she was faced. Poisoned calls attention to this event, and highlights the way it forever changed the way food is processed, inspected and eaten in America.
Jeff Benedict dedicated his book to Lauren and Roni:
To Lauren, a daughter whose time was cut short. And to Roni, a mother who made the right decision.
For more information about Poisoned click here.
Roni and Jeff, we are inspired by you!
Young STOP Member Educates the Next Generation About Food Safety
Young STOP Member Dana presented to 100 students at her school. She informed the students about how she fell ill from eating Salmonella-contaminated cantaloupe, as well as the long-term consequences she deals with today. She told her fellow students to learn from her experience, and tell their parents how important it is to have new laws in place to ensure our food is safe. Awesome job Dana!
High School Students Share Knowledge of Foodborne Illness
A group of high school students presented on foodborne illness and showcased the importance of food safety. These motivated individuals were studying Science through After School Matters, a nonprofit organization that offers Chicago high school students the opportunity to participate in out-of –school activities. STOP staff members Susan and Gail presented to a group of high school students about foodborne illness and food safety regulation, and inspired these young adults to share this information at a showcase of all of the After School Matters programs.
Great Job Science 101!
Chef and Young Food Safety Advocate Team Up
40 STOP members came to learn about food safety and how they and STOP play an important role. They learned about safe cooking practices, food regulations and received answers to any food safety questions they posed. The audience was split half and half between kids and adults so there were activities for everyone including food safety crosswords and quizzes with prizes. Chef Keith and Rylee make a great team!
STOP Member Publishes Book About Son’s Almost Fatal Brush with E. coli
Kip does a remarkable job telling the story of his 18-month old son Chance’s trial with E. coli. The book, told through Kip’s eyes, explains the family’s uphill battle in a way that makes this book tough to put down - for scientists and parents alike. This is truly the tale of a father’s faith, a mother’s strength and a child’s will to live.
STOP Mom Speaks Out at MO Health Conference
STOP’s Director of Research and Education Susan Vaughn Grooters, MPH ad STOP member Tina were invited to speak at the 1st annual Food Safety Session, in 2009. The audience consisted of individuals from the food service industry, as well as food inspectors and public health sanitarians. Susan educated them about the concerns consumers have about food safety and Tina shared her personal story about the tragic loss of her daughter due to E. coli. We commend Tina for Speaking out!
STOP member Dana presented the dangers of E. coli to over 100 people at her daughter’s high school. Kayla passed away from E. coli 0111, a non-regulated strain of E. coli. Dana gave Kayla’s classmates an outlet to speak about food safety reform, and make the community aware of safe food, through the creation of Kayla’s Kause. Over 50 students have since taken continued actions in various ways to educate their communities about safer food. The activities allow students to express why food safety is important and how this has impacted their lives forever from a loss of a close classmate.
Make Our Food Safe Lunch bag Event
STOP celebrated back to school time with visits from STOP Members to the Senate offices in Ohio and North Carolina. The participants handed staffers a mock school lunch bag with pictures of food items that have been identified in recent outbreaks. These individuals told senators and their aids about their personal experiences with foodborne illness, and educated everyone in the legislative office about the necessity for FDA reform legislation before more large outbreaks take more innocent lives. The bag “lunches” were left at the offices to highlight the potential food safety problems, which exist in even common school lunches.
An Evening with Marion Nestle
STOP Board Member Pam hosted an event with renowned author and food safety expert Marion Nestle, who is a professor of food studies and public heath at NYU, Blogger and Author of several books. After Ms. Nestle’s 45 minute presentation the group watched a video about STOP families’ experiences with foodborne disease. Thanks so much to Pam and everyone who was able to attend that event.
Young STOP Member Inspired - Speaks On Safe Food at FFA Competitions
It seems like safe food is on the minds of everyone these days, even high-schoolers. After hearing about what victims of foodborne illness go through, Michigan senior, Jasper Cunningham decided it was time to take things into his own hands. Jasper had heard of the Hinkley family who had lost their son Scott to E. coli poisoning in 1993. Young Scott was from a nearby town and was only three when he died, but his life made a lasting impact on the community, one that is still strong over 15 years later. Scott became the inspiration for Jasper's speech. As Jasper says, "The FFA is a national organization that strives to promote, premier leadership, personal growth, and career success through Agricultural Education. I love being involved in FFA. It has allowed me to see my own potential and realize my dreams. I have learned to be a leader and call attention to topics that need public attention. That is why I chose STOP and foodborne illness as the topic for my speech." Jasper's hard work and interest paid off. He placed in his first round of competition and headed to regionals where he took an amazing 4th place. STOP would like to wish Jasper the best of luck in his future competitions and thank him for his interest in safe food.
16 Years Later, STOP Mom Still Speaking Out
Sixteen years ago Roni Austin set out to make a change in her daughter Lauren's memory. She succeeded. Roni not only helped put laws into place, she helped found STOP. Roni could have passed the torch to other members, but she feels her message is so important that she still continues to spread the word even today. Last year Roni's stepdaughter's class was reading a book that featured Roni's story. Roni agreed to come to the class and speak on what safe food meant to her. The class was so inspired by her story that their teacher asked Roni to come back again and make the lecture an annual event. Roni Agreed. On February 27th, Roni returned for the second time to speak to over 100 senior government students about "Food Safety, the importance of Advocacy, and Change done the right way." Roni says, "To me it has always been important for people to realize that they can be and ultimately are… the solutions to there own success and education as well as the complexities in life. I was there in part, not only to tell Lauren’s Story but to show them that they can be the one who has a say in developing their own solutions in life... Not only for themselves, and to right a wrong, but for the greater good."
In Memory of Mom - STOP Member Heads to Washington DC
Jeff Almer's mother Shirley had a lot of sisu; which is what Finnish people call a person with spunk, fortitude and determination. That is why her death on December 21, 2008 came as a shock to his family. Shirley had beaten cancer and a brain tumor, but it was Salmonella contaminated peanut butter that took her life. After Shirley's death her family took it upon themselves to do what they thought she would have wanted. They spoke out. Jeff and other family members have done numerous interviews and told their heartbreaking story more times than they can count. Jeff even traveled with STOP to testify before congress. STOP would like to thank Jeff and his family for having the courage to stand up in their time of grief to bring much needed awareness to the issue of safe food.
Taking Things Into Her Own Hands - Food Recalls
Over the past few years STOP has received numerous compliments on our E-alerts. Our members have contacted us on many occasions letting us know that they had contaminated product in their homes and in some cases were even planning on serving it to their families the very day they saw the item appear in one of our e-mails. We like to think that our message is reaching far and wide. But we are well aware that we are reaching a limited population. So how do you best inform consumers about recalled food? That is the question STOP Member Sharon Griswold asked herself after she became ill from contaminated food. When grocery stores have a food recall, they are supposed to pull the products from their shelves and warehouses. Sometimes a local newspaper or evening news will run a story, but what happens if you miss the story? Sharon decided that a Food Recall Posting Program would be a fast and convenient way to make recall information available to all consumers. She has suggested that each grocery store have a dedicated bulletin board at their front entrance that would list all recalled food. By doing so, all consumers, especially those without a computer, would have the information they need to make an informed decision about their own food safety. Sharon has made numerous phone calls and e-mails to the FDA, USDA, and her representatives in hopes to gain support for this proposal. She is hopeful that her home state of Georgia will either pass this program as a rule or law in the future. Until then, Sharon was able to convince one of the largest grocery store chains in the U.S. of the merit of the program. This chain will be implementing the Food Recall Posting Program within the next month. STOP views this as a big victory for consumers and applauds Sharon for her efforts.
STOP Mom Convinces Schools to Stop Serving Peanut Products
The Dockter family lost their precious Morgan to E. coli poisoning almost 7 years ago. Not one day goes by where they don't think of her. Because of what happened to their family the Dockters are always keeping up with food safety news. When Morgan's mother, Shauna heard that her town's school lunch program had peanut butter products on the menu shortly after the peanut butter outbreak began to unfold, she vowed to stop them from being served. Shauna called the local school and explained what was happening with the numerous recalled products and asked that the school err on the side of caution and remove products with peanut butter from the menu. At first the school system didn't understand why serving peanut butter products would cause harm, but after Shauna explained what had happened to her family and of the numerous products being recalled, the school system pulled the products from the menu. Shauna later received a call thanking her for taking the time to contact the school. STOP applauds Shauna and thanks her for her efforts.