This September is National Food Safety Education Month.

It is estimated by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that 76 million people get sick, more than 300,000 are hospitalized, and 5,000 Americans die each year from food-borne illness.

The Jefferson County Department of Health and Environment is celebrating food safety month with educational displays and the Leader in Food Safety Award. The Food Safety Program works to prevent food-borne illness outbreaks and assure that Jefferson County citizens and visitors are provided with safe food. Staff routinely inspect the over 1,800 food service establishments in the County to insure compliance with state regulations and to educate about food safety.

Throughout the month of September, the public is encouraged to visit one of the six educational displays set up in the Jefferson County libraries. This year’s display theme "Don’t Let Food-borne Illness Spoil a Good Meal" highlights the most common food borne illnesses and how to prevent them; the importance of proper hand-washing in fighting the spread of disease as well as information on getting the most nutrition out of your meals. An additional food safety display will be in the atrium of the Jefferson County Courts and Administration Building.