Since 1994, U.S. National Food Safety Education Month (NFSEM) has been recognized each September to raise awareness about the importance of food safety education. For NFSEM 2023, organizations, academia, and regulatory agencies are offering free resources, training, and educational content about food safety.

Regulatory Recognition

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is recognizing NFSEM with a webpage that teaches about foodborne illness outbreak investigations, outbreak prevention, and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA’s) Food Code, as well as provides resources for public health professionals. The webpage includes videos, guides, and assessments to help local jurisdictions improve outbreak investigations by better understanding environmental assessments and root-cause analysis. Also on the webpage is content to aid restaurant managers in the development and enforcement of policies that prevent the spread foodborne illness in their establishment, Food Code adoption reports and tools to drive food safety, and other information and educational opportunities for public health professionals. 

The U.S. Department of Agriculture's National Agricultural Library’s (USDA's NAL's) Agricultural Law Information Partnership will host a webinar, titled, "Climate Change and Food Safety Ramifications" on Thursday, September 7, from 10:00 A.M.–3:00 P.M. ET. experts from USDA's National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) as they discuss how climate change impacts food safety in both direct and indirect ways. Additionally, a NAL Wikipedian will offer a Wikipedia editing training that will focus on food safety, climate change, and the impacts of climate change. Registration is required.

USDA's Food and Nutrition Service also published five new factsheets this NFSEM. The factsheets are designed for USDA partners and stakeholders, including child nutrition program operators and agricultural producers, and they emphasize the importance of produce safety to child nutrition program operators who oversee the purchase of produce for school meals. Learn more about the factsheets here.

On September 12 at 12:00 P.M. ET, FDA and Stop Foodborne Illness will hold the eighth webinar in their series on food safety culture. Registration is required for the webinar, which is titled "Facing Food Safety Challenges Through Culture and Adaptability." 

FDA also created a webpage in celebration of NFSEM, which is full of consumer-driven content for social media, tips for food safety and reducing the chance of becoming sickened by a foodborne illness, an overview of FDA’s New Era of Smarter Food Safety, and more. 

Training and Events

The National Restaurant Association’s ServSafe is providing free training and education content between August 21 and October 2, 2023 to help the restaurant workforce understand the “why” behind common food safety practices. The National Restaurant Association was the original founder of NFSEM in 1994. Learn more here.

The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) announced a new online course offered through its free FAO eLearning Academy on the threat that antimicrobial resistance (AMR) poses to global health, the role of the food and agriculture sector, and the impact of AMR on agrifood systems. The FAO eLearning Academy is also home to another 180 free courses. Learn more about the course on AMR here

The Northeast Center to Advance Food Safety (NECAFS) will be hosting a free, three-part webinar series on produce safety in hydroponic and aquaponic operations on September 19, September 26, and October 3. The series will provide an introductory overview of produce safety considerations specific to the unique features of hydroponic and aquaponic operations. The webinars are standalone, and material from each event will not build upon one another, so interested persons are encouraged to attend one or two of the sessions even if they cannot attend all three. Learn more here

Shortly following NFSEM, Penn State University’s College of Agricultural Sciences and the Penn State Extension will offer an in-person course designed for those who are developing in-house food safety programs. The course will cover topics such as the science and technology of cleaning and sanitizing, food allergen control, sanitary facilities and equipment design, food defense, pest control, and environmental monitoring. The course will take place October 10–12, 2023 at the Erickson Food Science Building on Penn State’s University Park campus. Learn more here.

Food Safety Magazine Educational Offerings

On September 19, 2023, Food Safety Matters is releasing a special bonus episode with Britanny Saunier, M.P.A., Executive Director of the Partnership for Food Safety Education and Ashley Eisenbeiser, M.S., C.F.S., Senior Director for Food and Product Safety Programs for FMI—the Food Industry Association. During this episode, Ms. Saunier and Ms. Eisenbeiser will discuss the partnership between their two organizations and how they work together to enhance food safety and protect consumer health. Look out for the episode hitting your favorite podcast player on September 19, or by checking the Food Safety Matters podcast page.

Looking back to still-pertinent content that was produced for NFSEM 2022, a special four-part Food Safety Matters podcast series explores the storied past of food safety in the U.S., including three book club discussions (on The Poison Squad by Deborah Blum, The Jungle by Upton Sinclair, and Poisoned by Jeff Benedict) with industry leaders, an author, and a subject of one of the books. The fourth podcast takes a closer look at the historically significant Jack in the Box foodborne illness outbreak of 1992–1993.

  • Listen to “Ep. 126. Blum, Keener: The Poison Squad and the Fight for Food Safety Legislation” here
  • Listen to “Ep. 127. Dr. John Butts: The Jungle and the Evolution of Meat and Poultry Safety” here
  • Listen to “Ep. 128. Bill Marler: Perspectives on Poisoned and Food Safety Progress” here
  • Listen to “Ep. 129. Michael Taylor: Legislating after the 1993 Jack in the Box E. coli Outbreak” here.

Also for Food Safety Matters, coming up on September 12, 2023 is Episode 153 of the podcast with Darin Detwiler, LP.D., M.A.Ed., an author, consultant, professor, and participant in the August 2023 Netflix documentary, Poisoned: The Dirty Truth About Your Food, which was inspired by the book Poisoned by Jeff Benedict and the 1993 Jack in the Box E. coli outbreak. Dr. Detwiler—who discusses the documentary, his experiences and advocacy, and his opinions on food safety on the podcast—was featured in the documentary as a prominent food safety advocate and also as the parent of a child who fell victim to foodborne illness. Look out for the episode hitting your favorite podcast player on September 12, or by checking the Food Safety Matters podcast page.

Food Safety Magazine is also offering two free webinars in September. The first webinar is about FDA’s Food Traceability Rule and the use of ambient Internet of Things (IOT) with former FDA Commissioner of Food Policy and Response, Frank Yiannas. The second webinar features several food safety experts for a discussion about foreign object control in food processing and foodservice environments. 

  • Register for and learn more about “FDA's Food Traceability Rule: Going Beyond Regulatory Compliance with Ambient IoT” on September 6, 2023 at 2:00 P.M. ET here
  • Register for and learn more about “Foreign Object Control: Best Practices in Food Processing and Foodservice” on September 26, 2023 at 2:00 P.M. ET here.


Stop Foodborne Illness’ third annual STOP3000 fundraiser is taking place during NFSEM 2023, in honor of the 3,000 deaths caused by foodborne illness in the U.S. annually. STOP3000 asks participants to walk 3,000 steps a day, every day, to raise funds in support of Stop Foodborne Illness. Learn more here.


Update, September 5, 2023: The article was edited to include information about a new event—USDA's "Climate Change and Food Safety Ramifications" webinar.

Update, September 6, 2023: The article was edited to include information about the FDA/Stop Foodborne Illness food safety culture webinar.

Update, September 18, 2023: The article was edited to include information about USDA's new factsheets on produce safety.