National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation
The National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation (NRAEF) is a private not-for-profit foundation controlled by the National Restaurant Association, an influential restaurant industry trade group. The NRAEF is a self-proclaimed educator to the restaurant and food service industry, producing educational materials, funding scholastic activities, and running certification programs in a growing range of food service-related subjects.
The National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation was founded in 1987. NRAEF attempts to impact the restaurant industry by providing "culinary, management, food safety and employability skills training to build a pipeline of talent for the growing industry."
Among several educational efforts, the NRAEF created the ServSafe certifications program, with the goal of the program becoming 'the industry standard in food safety training'. It also established the International Food Safety Council in 1993 in order to 'heighten the awareness of the importance of food safety education worldwide.'
The NRAEF claims that its ServSafe Food Safety certification program is "the most widely accepted food safety program among local, state and federal health departments" and that the ServSafe certification "has always set the standard in food safety training and certification."
The NRAEF's cornerstone program as of March 2015 is called ProStart -- a two year, nationwide program in which high schoolers and their schools can participate.
Financials and Funding
- Total Revenue: $10,622,951
- Total Expenses: $8,128,300
- Net Assets: $23,346,148
- Total Revenue: $7,796,897
- Total Expenses: $7,368,480
- Net Assets: $21,382,493
- Total Revenue: $9,004,220
- Total Expenses: $8,405,628
- Net Assets: $20,143,891
Conflict of Interest
The NRAEF uses a not-for-profit organizational model. This model helps promote the appearance of NRAEF's neutrality while furthering the credibility of its certification training programs and textbooks, which in turn the NRAEF sells to its students.
Although the NRAEF positions itself as a credible entity that, in its own words, 'sets the standard in food safety testing', the NRAEF certification and educational programs are constructed with minimal public discourse and without input from communities and groups involved in natural and humane farming initiatives, for instance. Since the NRAEF is controlled by the National Restaurant Association, which in turn is beholden to its member restaurant corporations, the NRAEF certification programs are in effect written indirectly by large food service industry interests for themselves.
The NRAEF's educational activities, while ostensibly focused on the subject of 'food safety,' do not question the sustainability and ethical underpinnings of the factory farm food model propagated by the corporate food industry, nor do they discuss the risks posed by new and relatively untested technologies and chemicals introduced into the human food chain.
It would be unlikely for the NRAEF to support non-genetically modified foods, non-chemically treated vegetables, or non-factory farm raised meats, for example, when many of the current or past sponsors of NRAEF's International Food Safety Council -- such as Monsanto, the National Cattlemen's Beef Association, the American Egg Board, Tyson Foods, and others -- directly profit from or represent the manufacturers of such products.
In effect, a large portion of U.S. food service industry managers are tested and certified without being offered a proper discussion regarding safety and ethical considerations of their establishments' sourcing of food from factory farm model producers as opposed to buying local, non-GMO, non-chemically treated vegetables and humanely raised meat products, while at the same time being given the impression that they have received a 'fair and balanced' education on the subject.
Donors and Sponsors
In 1993, the NRAEF founded the International Food Safety Council. The member organizations of the International Food Safety Council were called sponsors, and these sponsors held a similar role to modern donors of the organization.
Current and past donors and sponsors of NRAEF include:
- Activ USA
- Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute
- American Egg Board
- American Express
- Aramark Corporation
- Atkins Temptec
- Brinker International
- Buffalo Wild Wings
- Bunzl Distribution
- Burger King McLamore Foundation
- Campbell Soup Company
- Cattlemen's Beef Board
- Colgate-Palmolive Company
- Cooper Instrument Corporation
- Cooper-Atkins Corporation
- Darden Restaurants, Inc.
- Daydots International
- ECOLAB, Inc.
- Farquharson Enterprises, Ltd.
- FoodHandler, Inc.
- GOJO Industries, Inc.
- Handgards Inc.
- Heinz U.S.A.
- Hobart Corporation
- International Foodservice Distributors Association
- International Foodservice Manufacturers Association
- International Dairy-Deli-Bakery Association
- Johnson Wax Professional
- Jones Dairy Farm
- KatchAll Industries International
- Lipton Foodservice
- Monsanto Company
- Nabisco, Inc.
- National Cattlemen's Beef Association (NCBA)
- National Pork Producers Council
- North American Association of Food Equipment Manufacturers (NAFEM)
- Orkin Commercial
- PepsiCo, Inc.
- Procter & Gamble Company
- Produce Marketing Association
- Reckitt Benckiser
- SmithKline Beecham Pharmaceuticals
- SYSCO Corporation
- Tyson Foods
- UBF Foodsolutions
- U.S. Foodservice
National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation
2055 L St. NW
Washington, DC 20036
Articles and Resources
Related SourceWatch Articles
- National Restaurant Educational Foundation, "About Us," organizational website, accessed March 31, 2015.
- Pro Food Safety, "ServSafe Classes," organizational website, archived by the Internet Archive Wayback Machine on July 24, 2008, accessed March 31, 2015.
- National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation, "About the NRAEF," organizational website, archived by the Internet Archive Wayback Machine, accessed March 31, 2015.
- ServSafe, "ServSafe Is a New Dimension in Food Safety Trainin," organizational website, archived by the Internet Archive Wayback Machine, accessed March 31, 2015.
- National Restaurant Educational Foundation, "2013 IRS Form 990," organizational tax filing, November 14, 2014
- National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation, "2012 IRS Form 990," organizational tax filing, November 15, 2013.
- National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation, "2011 IRS Form 990," organizational tax filing, November 14, 2012.
- National Restaurant Association, "John Farquharson, FMP Honored with NSF Food Safety Leadership Award for Lifetime Achievement in Food Safety," organizational press release, May 17, 2004, archived by the Wayback Machine on June 17, 2004, accessed March 31, 2015.
- National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation, "Internaional Food Safety Council Sponsors," organizational website, archived by Internet Archive Wayback Machine, accessed March 31, 2015
- National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation, "Contact Us," organzational website, accessed March 31, 2015.