More than 46 million turkeys will be cooked this Thanksgiving holiday, according to the National Turkey Federation. In an effort to help families prepare safe food at home this Thanksgiving and throughout the year, the Ad Council’s Food Safe Families’ public service campaign is running on the Walmart Checkout TV Network which covers 588 stores throughout the U.S.
The “Separate” TV spot teaches consumers the importance of separating foods to avoid cross-contamination which can cause food poisoning. The public service advertisement (PSA) is airing on TV screens at checkout from Nov. 14 through Nov. 30, reaching more than 50 million customers.
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The Food Safe Families campaign was developed by the Ad Council and the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service, in partnership with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and it is their first joint national multimedia public service campaign to help families prepare food safely at home.
Food poisoning, also called foodborne illness, is a serious public health threat in the U.S. CDC estimates that approximately 1 in 6 Americans (48 million people) suffer from foodborne illness each year, resulting in roughly 128,000 hospitalizations and 3,000 deaths.
While USDA, HHS and other federal government agencies are dedicated to protecting consumers by setting and enforcing food safety standards, it is also the federal government’s responsibility to give consumers important safety information for handling food safely in the home.
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Created pro bono by ad agency JWT New York, the 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 food handling behaviors, the television PSAs urge parents to keep their families safer from food poisoning and deliver clear steps to reduce their risk. Audiences are encouraged to achieve the following food handling behaviors:
Separate: Separate raw meats from other foods by using different cutting boards.
Clean: Clean kitchen surfaces, utensils, and hands with soap and water while preparing food.
Cook: Cook foods to the right temperature by using a food thermometer.
Chill: Chill raw and prepared foods promptly.
The campaign includes English and Spanish-language television, radio, print, and Web advertising, as well as an integrated social media program.
All campaign elements direct audiences to visit FoodSafety.gov, where they can learn about food safety practices. Consumers can also access “Ask Karen,” an online database with answers to nearly 1,500 questions related to preventing foodborne illnesses.