Monthly Highlights

National Food Safety Education Month

September is National Food Safety Education Month. Foodborne illnesses—also known as food poisoning—result from eating food contaminated by bacteria, viruses, parasites, and natural (e.g., molds) or chemical toxins. Anyone can get sick from food poisoning, but you are at a higher risk if you are 65 years and older, have a weakened immune system, or are pregnant. Food poisoning can also be more dangerous for children younger than five.

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Follow these four steps whenever preparing food at home:

  • Clean: Wash your hands with plain soap and water for at least 20 seconds, and clean utensils, cutting boards, and countertops after preparing food.
  • Separate: Keep raw meat, poultry, seafood, and eggs separate from all other foods while cooking and in your refrigerator.
  • Cook to the right temperature. Use this chart to find the safe minimum internal temperature for red meat, poultry, seafood, leftovers, and more.
  • Chill: Refrigerate unused or leftover food as quickly as possible, typically within two hours. Keep your refrigerator at 40°F or below and your freezer at 0˚F or below.

Visit the CDC's Food Safety webpage, available in English and Spanish, for information on food safety when eating out or ordering delivery, as well as during the holidays and other special events.

National Suicide Prevention Awareness Month

September is National Suicide Prevention Month.
According to the CDC, people of any age, race, ethnicity, or sex can experience suicide risk, but certain groups have substantially higher rates of suicide. These include veterans, sexual and gender minorities, and American Indian or Alaska Native (AI/AN) people. Suicide rates among AI/AN people is 68.4 per 100,000 for males ages 15-34, 36.0 per 100,000 for males ages 35-64, and 33.0 per 100,000 for youth ages 10-24.

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#BeThe1To, an initiative of the 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline, has identified five evidence-based steps (also available in Spanish) that can help you support someone in crisis:

  • Ask the question, "Are you thinking about suicide?" and listen to their answer without judgment.
  • Be there, whether in-person, on the phone, or through social media. Help them feel connected and explore their reasons for living.
  • Keep them safe. Put time and distance between the person in crisis and any self-harm or lethal methods.
  • Help them connect to mental health services and other sources of support.
  • Follow up. Visit, leave a message, send a text, or give them a call.

There is hope. If you or someone you know is in crisis, call 988 to speak with a skilled, trained crisis worker. 988, la línea de prevención del suicidio y crisis, está disponible en español.

National HIV/AIDS and Aging Awareness Day
(September 18)

September 18 is National HIV/AIDS and Aging Awareness Day, a day to combat the stigma faced by older Americans living with HIV and address the aging-related challenges of HIV testing, prevention, and care.

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With advances in treatment, people with HIV live longer, healthier lives, but older people in America are more likely to be diagnosed with late-stage HIV. According to the CDC, people aged 55 years and older have the highest percentage of Stage 3 (AIDS) diagnoses. Among racial and ethnic minorities, Asian people (48.9) and Latino people (40.2) aged 55 years and older have the highest percentages of Stage 3 diagnoses, and American Indian or Alaska Native people ages 45-54 years old have the highest percentage (51.8) of Stage 3 diagnoses.

Early diagnosis and care are key strategies for ending HIV. Talk to your doctor about prevention strategies such as pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP), antiretroviral therapy (ART), and post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP).

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