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Web Content Viewer (JSR 286)

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Web Content Viewer (JSR 286)

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Web Content Viewer (JSR 286)

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Food Safe Families Public Service Announcement (PSA) Campaign Highlights

In September 2010, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) secured the support of the Ad Council to develop a food safety education campaign to help the U.S. Government (USDA, Food and Drug Administration, and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) and its partners educate consumers about safe food handling behaviors. The Ad Council-sponsored campaign, Food Safe Families, generates national media attention to food safety by increasing awareness about the risk of foodborne illness and simple steps to prevent it. This fact sheet summarizes the Food Safe Families campaign and highlights some of the major successes since implementation.

BACKGROUND

Food poisoning, also referred to as foodborne illness, is a serious public health threat in the United States. The CDC estimates that approximately 1 in 6 Americans, 48 million people, get sick from food poisoning each year, resulting in roughly 128,000 hospitalizations and 3,000 deaths. Consumer education focused on safe food handling and preparation practices can help reduce food poisoning, hospitalizations, and deaths.

APPROACH

English and Spanish public service announcements (PSAs) aim to raise awareness about the risks of foodborne illness and educate consumers, especially parents, to take specific actions to reduce their personal risk through safe food-handling steps. All campaign elements direct audiences to visit FoodSafety.gov where they can find additional food safety resources.

OBJECTIVES

  • Raise awareness of the risks of food poisoning
  • Motivate parents to reduce their family’s risk of food poisoning by regularly practicing safe food handling behaviors in their homes
  • Drive parents to FoodSafety.gov to check their food safety steps

AUDIENCE

English- and Spanish-speaking parents with children under the age of 18 and who cook on a regular basis

Web Traffic Highlights

Prior to the PSA campaign launch in June 2011, FoodSafety.gov received an average of 92,000 visits per month. FoodSafety.gov now receives an average of 860,000 visits per month, in part, because of the sustained campaign marketing efforts, including the release of two additional creative phases.

Graph illustrating increase in web traffic over the course of the campaign.
Figure 1: Summary of Web Traffic to FoodSafety.gov (Pre-Launch through FY15)

Tracking Study Highlights

  • Significantly more parents and caregivers believe that using a food thermometer is an important way to prevent food poisoning—from 34% in 2011 to 61% in 2014
  • Significantly more parents and caregivers report using a food thermometer “every time” they prepare meals at home—from 15% in 2011 to 27% in 2014

Figure 2: Highlights of Ad Council Tracking Study Comparing 2011 to 2014 Results
Figure 2: Highlights of Ad Council Tracking Study Comparing 2011 to 2014 Results

PSA Creative Launch

The Food Safe Families campaign operates on a donated media model. The Ad Council secures the time and talent of nationally recognized advertising firms to produce PSAs. The Ad Council then secures placements for the PSAs in donated media space throughout the country. Using this business model allows FSIS to leverage the Ad Council’s media relationships to effectively channel and multiply food safety messages to consumers.

Timeline:
  • Phase I introducing the “Four Steps” of the campaign launched June 28, 2011
  • Phase II of the campaign launched the “Recipes for Disaster” PSAs on July 4, 2013
  • Phase III launched the “Dancing Microbe” PSAs on November 25, 2014

Graph illustrating that the campaign has earned millions of dollars in donated media value and billions of impressions in each year since launch.
Figure 3: Summary of Donated Media Value and Impressions (FY11 through FY15)

Notable Partnerships

FSIS worked with a variety of national partners throughout the Food Safe Families campaign. Work with partners included collaborating to host consumer outreach events, securing placement for PSAs and ads in stores and on Web sites, and creating videos and activities for targeted audiences.

Last Modified Sep 28, 2016