September Is National Food Safety Education Month: Simple Ways To Promote Kitchen and Food Safety

September Is National Food Safety Education Month: Simple Ways To Promote Kitchen and Food Safety

National Consumers League and Water Quality & Health Council Offer Tips to Help Consumers Keep Their Kitchens Safe

ARLINGTON, VA (September 12, 2002) – September is National Food Safety Education Month, an annual observance to draw attention to the importance of safe food handling and preparation. To raise awareness and help reduce the 76 million cases of foodborne illness that occur each year in the United States, the Water Quality & Health Council and the National Consumers League (NCL) are providing simple food safety tips for consumers to use in their homes.

The U.S. food supply is one of the safest in the world, yet the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that more than 300,000 people are hospitalized and 5,000 Americans die from foodborne illness each year. Joan Rose, chair of the Water Quality & Health Council, stated, “The threat of contracting illnesses from foodborne pathogens is very real in home kitchens and wherever food is prepared. Consumers need to exercise caution and take diligent steps to prevent such dangerous illnesses as E.coli and Salmonella.”

According to the CDC, over 200 known diseases are transmitted through food. Symptoms of foodborne illness range from mild diarrhea or vomiting to life-threatening disorders.

If consumers were more aware of precautions they could take in their own kitchens to reduce exposure to disease-causing organisms, many cases of foodborne illness could be prevented. Linda Golodner, president of the National Consumers League, noted, “Consumers should cook foods thoroughly (until juices run clear in meats and poultry), never eat uncooked or unpasteurized eggs, and refrigerate leftovers promptly. To kill germs, always wash your hands and cooking surfaces with disinfectants and frequently soak sponges, dishcloths, and dish towels in a chlorine bleach solution.”

These and other tips are attached to this release as a pdf file. Media may quote from these tips individually or print the tips sheet in its entirety.

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The Water Quality & Health Council is an independent, multidisciplinary group sponsored by the Chlorine Chemistry Division of the American Chemistry Council. Its mission is to promote science based practices and policies to enhance water quality and health by advising industry, health professionals, policy makers and the public.

The National Consumers League, founded in 1899, is America’s pioneer consumer organization. Its mission is to identify, protect, represent, and advance the economic and social interests of consumers and workers. NCL is a private, nonprofit membership organization. For more information, visit www.nclnet.org.

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