U.S. Antibiotic Awareness Week: Preserving the Effectiveness of Antibiotics

Graphics of a farm, a dinner plate, and germs for Preserving the Effectiveness of Antibiotics

U.S. Antibiotic Awareness Week is November 18–24. The annual observance reminds us of the importance of preserving the effectiveness of life-saving antibiotics and preventing the spread of antibiotic-resistant infections, including those spread through food. Antibiotic resistance happens when bacteria develop the ability to survive or grow despite being exposed to antibiotics designed to kill them and is a significant global health challenge. Antibiotic-resistant infections are harder to treat and can cause more severe infections and even death.

There are steps everyone can take to preserve the effectiveness of antibiotics and prevent infections. At home, follow the four steps to food safety: clean, separate, cook, and chill. To help slow the spread of antibiotic resistance, take antibiotics only when needed and take them exactly as prescribed by your healthcare provider.

Every year, more than 660,900 people in the United States get sick from resistant Salmonella or Campylobacter—two bacteria commonly spread through food. These bacteria are becoming resistant to an increasing number of antibiotics.

Antibiotics are not usually needed to treat food poisoning, and unnecessary use of antibiotics can contribute to antibiotic resistance. However, people who get severe infections (or those at risk of severe infections) may need antibiotics to recover. Everyone can help keep antibiotics working for when we really need them by improving antibiotic use.

Visit the CDC website for additional information related to food and food animals, veterinarians, livestock and poultry producersand, and steps CDC is taking to address antibiotic resistance.

Follow #USAAW20 on @FoodSafety.gov’s Twitter channel to be a part of the conversation.

Food Safety Tips During the Holidays

Image of a turkey with other side dishes

Preparing a delicious meal is a great way to create a memorable holiday with your household. Read CDC’s updated feature, Food Safety Tips for the Holidays, for simple tips to help prevent food poisoning throughout the season and year-round. This feature is also available in Spanish.

For more tips on how to plan for the holidays during COVID-19, visit CDC’s Holiday Celebrations.

Prevention Priorities Website Live

In January 2020, the Division of Foodborne, Waterborne, and Environmental Diseases (DFWED) identified seven prevention priorities to address some of the most pressing concerns among foodborne, waterborne, and fungal diseases: Adoption of the Model Aquatic Health Code, Aspergillosis and Triazoles, Cholera, Shiga toxin-producing E. coli and leafy greens, Salmonella and chicken, Salmonella and ground beef, and Vibriosis and shellfish. DFWED launched the first phase of its new Prevention Priorities website on October 15. Please visit the website to learn more about the priorities and share this announcement with your partners.