Food safety is one of major problems in food sector in Indonesia (Badan POM RI, 2007) and this problem appears to be caused by food seller. The role of food seller is vital because if they produce harmful food, consumers will not trust them, which therefore can cause a declining economic growth in Bogor. This is because about 18% income of Bogor residences is from food sector (Kota Bogor, 2007). In the other hand, student is an educated consumer, having more knowledge than common people do. They have a power to change this condition, including food safety in their surroundings. Student can act as a counselor, inspector, as well as consumer.
This paper aims at giving an idea about the role that can be done by educated consumers (student) to sustain food safety in their surroundings and increase food sellers’ awareness on the importance of food safety. From the recent survey done around campus, 31% consumer stated that sanitation is their first priority when choosing food sellers, while all consumers have ever had uncomfortable experience when buying food in campus. Concerning this problem, a program called “Food Seller Mentoring Program” was established by SEAFAST Center (Southeast Asian Food and Agricultural Science and Technology Center) and Association of Students in Food Science and Technology (HIMITEPA) IPB. In this program, a survey was conducted to inquire current condition of food sellers and how their consumer responded. Then, the program was done by conducting 2 sessions of training in the middle of June and in the middle of August 2008, supervision between those sessions, and evaluation in the last session.
From this program, three things could be concluded. First, this program could improve food sellers’ knowledge and awareness. Second, there is a special relationship between counselor and the seller, because our survey showed that about 90% consumers were afraid to talk and complain about the food. Third, a better habit in processing food was performed such as using gloves and apron when processing food. However, what is also important that this program can be used as a role model for another campus, so that food safety can be established.