September marks Food Safety Education Month. Every year, an estimated 1 in 6 Americans (48 million people) get sick and 3,000 die from eating contaminated food.
You can take steps to help prevent food poisoning and stay healthy. Learn more below about how to fight the germs that cause foodborne illness.
Protect Yourself From Food Poisoning:
- Wash your hands, utensils, and surfaces often when you cook.
- Use a food thermometer to make sure foods are cooked thoroughly, to an internal temperature that kills germs.
- Refrigerate leftovers and perishable foods such as meat, milk, cut produce, and eggs, within 2 hours. Chill within 1 hour if it’s above 90°F.
- If you get food or groceries delivered, use a food thermometer to make sure food arrives at a safe temperature. If perishable foods are above 40°F, notify the company and don’t eat them.
- Rinse fruits and vegetables in running water before eating or cooking, and scrub uncut, firm produce such as cucumbers or potatoes with a clean brush. Don’t use soap, bleach, other disinfectants, or chemicals on fresh fruits and vegetables.
Visit CDC’s food safety website to find videos, tips to prevent food poisoning, and social media graphics. And, visit Food and Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) to learn about food safety during COVID-19. For information on environmental assessments and other resources for food safety programs, visit CDC’s environmental health services website.