Announcement: National Food Safety Education Month — September 2017

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September is National Food Safety Education Month. One of CDC’s food safety objectives is to raise awareness about healthy practices to prevent food poisoning. Every year in the United States, an estimated one in six persons (48 million persons) become ill, and 3,000 die from eating contaminated food (1). Some persons are at higher risk for foodborne illnesses (food poisoning) or might experience more severe symptoms: children aged <5 years (2), adults aged ≥65 years (3), pregnant women, and those with immune systems compromised by medical conditions, such as cancer, diabetes, and human immunodeficiency virus infection, or by treatments such as chemotherapy.

This year, CDC is focusing on raising awareness about these groups at high risk for foodborne illnesses. Persons in these groups should not eat undercooked animal products (e.g., meat, poultry, eggs, or seafood) (4), raw or lightly cooked sprouts, or unpasteurized milk and juices. They should also avoid eating soft cheese (e.g., queso fresco) unless the product’s label indicates that it was made with pasteurized milk.

Information about CDC’s activities related to Food Safety Education Month can be found at Information on preventing food poisoning can be found at


  1. CDC. Vital signs: incidence and trends of infection with pathogens transmitted commonly through food—foodborne diseases active surveillance network, 10 U.S. sites, 1996–2010. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep 2011;60:749–55. PubMedexternal icon
  2. Scallan E, Mahon BE, Hoekstra RM, Griffin PM. Estimates of illnesses, hospitalizations and deaths caused by major bacterial enteric pathogens in young children in the United States. Pediatr Infect Dis J 2013;32:217–21. PubMedexternal icon
  3. Scallan E, Crim SM, Runkle A, et al. Bacterial enteric infections among older adults in the United States: Foodborne Diseases Active Surveillance Network, 1996–2012. Foodborne Pathog Dis 2015;12:492–9. CrossRefexternal icon PubMedexternal icon
  4. US Department of Health and Human Services. cook to the right temperature. Washington, DC: US Department of Health and Human Services; 2017. icon

Suggested citation for this article: Announcement: National Food Safety Education Month — September 2017. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep 2017;66:942. DOI: icon.

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