September is recognized as National Food Safety Education Month, also often referred to as Food Safety Awareness Month.
Foodborne illness is a preventable public health challenge that results in millions of illnesses each year in the U.S. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that 48 million people get sick, 128,000 are hospitalized, and 3,000 die from foodborne diseases each year in the U.S.
In acknowledging this annual, month-long observance, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA)'s Under Secretary for Food Safety, Mindy Brashears, says the following:
“My vision for food safety includes enhancing and emphasizing consumer education. Consumers play a vital role in reducing foodborne illness—and by providing scientifically accurate and effective food safety information, we can help empower them to adopt and practice safe food handling behaviors in their own homes.”
For those interested in playing an active role in preventing foodborne illness, these reputable resources can help not only this month, but all year long.
U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Resources:
Safe Food Handling
Food Safety in Your Kitchen
People at Risk for Foodborne Illness
Food Safety for Pregnant Women
Everyday Food Safety for Young Adults
Education Resource Library
Continuing Medical Education Program
Science and Our Food Supply
Consumer Food Safety Educator Evaluation Toolbox and Guide
Contributing Factors: Preventable Causes of Foodborne Illness (Infographic)
Kitchen Manager Certification (Infographic)
Preventing Foodborne Illness Outbreaks (Infographic)
Food Safety Education Resources for Families
Ask USDA (formerly Ask Karen)
FoodSafety.gov - a collaboration between USDA, FDA, and CDC
Clean - Separate - Cook - Chill
How is your organization recognizing Food Safety Education Month? We'd love to hear how you're spreading fact-based food safety information! Tag us on Twitter (@FoodSafetyMag) with your plans so we can help spread the word!