The second foodlink Awards for Communicating Food Safety in the UK have highlighted the work of several local authorities in raising public awareness and tackling food hygiene issues. Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council and Wyre Borough Council were awarded joint first prize for their innovative and effective approaches to promoting food safety. The local councils beat 50 other entries from local authorities, health promotion, and infection control teams from across the country. The judges felt that the winning authorities demonstrated an ability to communicate effectively the importance of health and safety in food production. Blackburn's Environmental Health Officers (EHOs) teamed up with a local community theatre group to produce an educational video for local ethnic community groups and food businesses, to show how poor food preparation can lead to food poisoning. The video, which was launched by the Mayor during National Food Safety Week in June, is based around an Asian wedding and demonstrates how its lead character - a caterer at the wedding - gets food poisoning. The film highlights the importance of cleanliness, cross contamination, chilling and cooking, and has been translated into Urdu and Gujerati. Wyre Borough Council produced an extensive interactive teaching resource - Mission: Possible! - which encourages school pupils to become special agents in the fight against bacteria. The CD ROM attempts to use fun to educate children about food safety issues. Extensive teachers notes and follow up exercises accompanied the CD ROM. Launched in 2002, the foodlink Awards for Communicating Food Safety, organised by the Food and Drink Federation (FDF), are a means of highlighting the creative work undertaken by event organisers. "Every year we see more and more excellent, creative work done at grass roots level by EHOs and others, to promote good food hygiene messages," said Martin Paterson, FDF deputy director general. "Finding new and imaginative ways of engaging the public's interest in food hygiene can be an uphill battle, but with millions of cases of food poisoning each year, it's one well worth the fight. Through these Awards we can showcase this excellent work - and inspire others. Congratulations to all our 2003 winners." John Barnes, of the Food Standard Agency's Food Hygiene Campaign said: "I'm really pleased to see the important work local authorities do in this area being recognised by these awards. I would particularly like to congratulate Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council and Wyre Borough Council for their innovative projects and well-deserved success." Food safety expert professor Hugh Pennington presented the prizes to the winning teams at the foodlink Communicating Food Safety Conference last week in London. foodlink is organised by the Food and Drink Federation in association with a number of other institutions including the Food Standards Agency, the Royal Environmental Health Institute of Scotland and the Chartered Institute of Environmental Health. Other organisations supporting National Food Safety Week include the Design and Technology Association, the Institute of Food Science and Technology and the Health Protection Agency.