USDA's Food Safety and Inspection Service and the Ad Council have partnered with the Food and Drug Administration and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on a national public service campaign called Food Safe Families. The multimedia campaign, which was announced by Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack and Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, is designed to help families prevent food poisoning in the home. The CDC estimates nearly one in six Americans suffer from foodborne illness every year, but the summer is a time when foodborne illnesses tend to increase.
The new campaign aims to raise awareness about the risks of foodborne illness and educate consumers on actions they can take to reduce personal risk. Those actions include USDA's message on safe food handling procedure - clean, separate, cook and chill. Created pro bono by ad agency JWT New York, the new Food Safe Families public service campaign aims to raise awareness about the risks of foodborne illness and educate consumers, especially parents, to take specific actions to reduce their personal risk. Through humorous over-the-top depictions of the four key safe food handling behaviors, the television public service announcments urge parents to keep their families safer from food poisoning and deliver clear steps to reduce their risk.
"The launch of the Ad Council campaign comes at a time of heightened attention to food safety issues, when American families are looking for clear and concise information on how to better protect themselves," said Vilsack. "Ensuring the safety of food is a top priority for USDA and we work with the meat and poultry industry each day on best practices to decrease potential risks. The Ad Council campaign has the potential to generate unprecedented national exposure to issues of food safety and foodborne illness prevention."
Sebelius says that the food safety strategy based on preventing food safety problems requires efforts to begin where food is produced and continue where food is processed and marketed.
"When it comes to food safety, our number one priority is prevention," said USDA Under Secretary for Food Safety Dr. Elisabeth Hagen. "Knowing that the risk of foodborne illnesses may never be zero, it is important for us to get the word out about what consumers can do."