All over the world, holidays are associated with feasting, and American holidays in particular are distinguished by the preparation and consumption of massive quantities of food. Which is great -- but also carries the risk of food poisoning from faulty preparation, cooking or storage.
To remind food-preparers and consumers of the correct culinary practices, the Ad Council’s “Food Safe Families” campaign and Walmart Checkout TV Network are partnering to run TV spots. They emphasize the need to avoid cross-contamination, which can result in food poisoning by keeping raw meat and poultry away from ready-to-eat food.
The “Separate” TV spot -- developed by the Ad Council in cooperation with the USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service, the FDA, and the CDC -- is running on TV screens at checkouts at 588 Walmart stores from November 14-30. During that time, it should reach over 50 million customers.
In addition to Walmart Checkout TV, the campaign includes English and Spanish-language spots running on TV, radio, print and Web platforms, along with an integrated social media program. The spots direct audiences to FoodSafety.gov, where they can learn about food safety practices, as well as "Ask Karen," an online database with 1,500 Q&A’s relating to foodborne illnesses.
The CDC estimates that 48 million Americans, or roughly one in every six Americans, suffer from food-borne illness every year, leading to 128,000 hospitalizations and 3,000 deaths.
The “Separate” TV spot advises consumers to separate raw meats from other foods by using different cutting boards; cleaning kitchen surfaces, utensils, and hands with soap and water while preparing food; cooking foods to the right temperature by using a food thermometer; chilling raw and prepared foods promptly.