WASHINGTON – Alvin and the Chipmunks will be doing more than singing their favorite songs when the animated trio is featured in a series of public service announcements urging consumers to protect themselves against food poisoning.

The PSAs are the result of a partnership between the US Dept. of Agriculture, the Ad Council and 20th Century Fox. The spots will feature footage from the upcoming film “Alvin & the Chipmunks: The Road Chip.” The Atlanta-based Centers for Disease Control estimates that 48 million Americans are sickened by foodborne pathogens each year, and children are among the most vulnerable to food poisoning.

“Young children are at a higher risk for foodborne illness, and keeping them safe is a top priority for FSIS,” said Deputy Under Secretary for Food Safety Alfred Almanza. “These familiar characters offer USDA a great opportunity to communicate this valuable public health message in a way to get the attention of children and parents.”

The campaign features television, radio and out-of-home and web advertising. Also, parents and children can find kid-friendly activities that reinforce food-safety concepts: Clean, Separate, Cook and Chill.