September is National Food Safety Education Month. Started in 1994, this initiative aims to prevent foodborne illness, which sickens 48 million Americans every year. 

While the food industry tends to focus on preventing contamination during manufacturing, a large percentage of these illnesses occur because foods are mishandled at home or at foodservice establishments. But, regardless of where problems are most likely to occur, consumers hold food regulatory agencies and food companies most responsible for ensuring that food is safe.

That’s why, no matter what segment of the industry you’re in, whether it’s processing, packaging, distribution, or retail, you should dedicate some time this month to educating food handlers and consumers about food safety.

These resources will help you do just that.

Foodsafety.gov

Foodsafety.gov is managed by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Its goal is to be “the gateway to food safety information provided by government agencies.” The site provides information about food safety by type of food, charts for storage and cooking temperatures, and much more. The USDA even has an app, FoodKeeper, that tells consumers how long food will stay fresh if it’s stored correctly.

Visit Foodsafety.gov.

CDC Food Safety Education Month page

The CDC provides resources in a variety of formats — including videos and graphics — to help consumers learn how to properly prepare and handle food. They even have some pre-written Facebook and Twitter messages that you can copy and paste for easy sharing.

Visit the CDC Food Safety Education Month page.

FDA Food Safety Education Month page

The FDA also provides many resources in multiple formats, including social media messages, for easy dissemination. Check out these two in particular:

Visit the FDA Food Safety Education Month page.

USDA 2019 National Food Safety Education Month page

Like the other government agencies, the USDA provides links to a variety of resources, including presentations, webinars, and videos that are eligible for continuing education credits.

Visit the USDA 2019 National Food Safety Education Month page.

Partnership for Food Safety Education

The Partnership for Food Safety Education is dedicated to helping consumers prevent food poisoning year-round. The site has a large collection of downloads, including activities to introduce kids to the concept of food safety. There are also many fun and colorful graphics for sharing on social media.

Visit the Partnership for Food Safety Education.

#FSEM and #FoodSafetyMonth

Use these hashtags across social media to find and share resources and join the conversation surrounding food safety.