Food Safety Education Month

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September is National Food Safety Education Month (FSEM). It’s a great time to freshen up on food safety and educate others about preventing food poisoning.

Meet Food Safety Chef

During FSEM, follow along on social media to get tips from Food Safety Chef about keeping food safe when cooking at home: @CDCgov Twitter, @CDC_NCEZID Twitter, CDC Facebook, CDCgov Instagram, and @Foodsafetygov Twitter. Look for hashtags #FSEM2021 and #CDCFoodSafety and share these tips to show others how to keep food safe.

Take Steps to Prevent Food Poisoning

As you prepare and handle food, follow these four steps to help prevent foodborne illness (also called food poisoning):

Anyone can get sick from food poisoning. But some groups of people are more likely to get sick and to have a more serious illness:

  • Adults aged 65 and older
  • Children younger than 5
  • People with weakened immune systems (for example, people with diabetes, liver or kidney disease, alcoholism, or HIV, or people who receive chemotherapy or radiation therapy)
  • Pregnant people

Salmonella: A Prevention Priority

CDC estimates that Salmonella is responsible for more foodborne illnesses in the United States than any other bacteria. Though Salmonella can be found in a variety of foods, chicken is a major source of these illnesses. Ground beef has also been linked to large Salmonella outbreaks in recent years. CDC and partners are working along the food chain to prevent Salmonella illnesses associated with chicken and ground beef.

When you cook chicken or ground beef, follow the four steps to food safety to help protect you and your family from Salmonella and other germs. Here’s a recipe that shows how to prepare chicken following the four steps. Food Safety Chef will share other Salmonella prevention tips on social media during FSEM.

Person inserting a food thermometer into a piece of grilled chicken

Food Safety in Action: Prepare Spice-Crusted Chicken With Fruit Salsa


  • 2 tablespoons ground coriander
  • 2 tablespoons ground cumin
  • 1 tablespoon ground black pepper
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • 1½ pounds (24 ounces) boneless skinless chicken breasts (about 6 breasts, 4 ounces each)
  • 2 tablespoons canola or avocado oil
  • 3 cups fruit salsa, divided (store-bought or homemade)


  1. Wash your hands for 20 seconds with soap and water, and clean the prep area with soap and hot water.
  2. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Do not add any oil or cooking spray.
  3. Add the coriander, cumin, and black pepper. Toast the spices, stirring constantly, until fragrant, about 30–45 seconds.
  4. Transfer the toasted spices to a plate or shallow dish such as a pie plate. Stir in the salt and set aside.
  5. Pat the chicken breasts dry with paper towels.
  6. Place the now-empty skillet over medium-high heat.
  7. Working with one chicken breast at a time, set the chicken breasts in the spice mixture on one side and then flip to the other side, until both sides of each chicken breast are coated with the spice mixture.
    • Wash utensils, plates, and any other surfaces that touch raw chicken with hot, soapy water or in dishwasher.
  8. Add the oil to the hot pan and heat until shimmering.
  9. Place the chicken breasts in the pan and cook until the internal temperature reaches 165°F (check with a food thermometer), about 4–5 minutes per side.
  10. Top each chicken breast with ½ cup of the salsa.
  11. Serve warm.
  12. Refrigerate leftover chicken, salsa, and other perishable food within 2 hours of cooking.

Recipe from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs pdf icon[PDF – 1 page]external icon.

Food Safety Education Month Materials