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How Dad Got Sick: A New Booklet and Video for Kids

As a parent, I try to do everything possible to keep my children safe from foodborne bacteria. Kids are surrounded by food all the time, and it's important that they learn food safety basics. However, busy schedules filled with sport practices, music lessons, and other after-school activities limit the time available for kids to learn about fighting bacteria. Parents can use all the help we can get!

Let Me Tell You How Dad Got SickThat’s why I'm excited about a new (and fun!) booklet and video from the USDA that teach kids about basic steps to food safety – and what happens when you don’t follow those steps.

The booklet and video, Let Me Tell You How Dad Got Sick, feature a boy sharing the story of how his dad experienced foodborne illness. By reading the booklet or watching the video (or doing both), children learn how perishable food becomes unsafe when it’s left out too long. They also learn why it's so important to wash their hands properly with warm water and soap before handling food.

As a bilingual specialist at USDA, I’m also excited that the booklet is available in both Spanish and English, and that the video is available in Spanish with English captioning.

The booklet and video make it easy or children to learn the four simple steps to "Be Food Safe":

  • Clean. Wash hands, utensils, and cutting boards before and after contact with raw meat, poultry, seafood, and eggs.
  • Separate. Keep raw meat and poultry apart from foods that won't be cooked.
  • Cook. Use a food thermometer to make sure your food reaches a safe internal temperature.
  • Chill. Refrigerate leftovers and takeout foods within two hours.

Both the booklet and the video are great teaching tools for kids. Teaching children to "Be Food Safe" creates good habits in the kitchen that they will follow as they grow up.

For more food safety information for kids, check out these resources:

TaggedKids | Teens | Education | Resources