Home Health Best practices for environmental health : environmental pollution, protection, quality and sustainability
The US FDA has published two manuals which are of great help to the overall food industry and to the regulators involved in managing food safety using HACCP principles. They are Managing Food Safety: A Manual for the Voluntary Use of HACCP Principles for Operators of Food Service and Retail Establishments (College Park, Maryland, April 2006) (see endnote 61) and Managing Food Safety: A Regulators Manual for Applying HACCP Principles to Risk-based Retail and Food Service Inspections and Evaluating Voluntary Food Safety Management Systems (College Park, Maryland, April 2006) (see endnote 62.)
ETP Food Protection-EHS-CDC
This internet page, last updated on October 16, 2015, is a compilation of various sources outside the CDC that provide a variety of information on various food safety issues in a variety of training techniques. It also briefly mentions some of the CDC food safety program areas.
At the state level, the Departments of Health, Agriculture, and Environment may all be involved in outbreak surveillance, investigation, and response. This makes for confusion, duplication of effort, and unfortunately a waste of precious resources.
At the end of the 1800s and early 1900s there were overwhelming problems with milk and various types of meat and other foods. By the 1960s, it was a rare occurrence to find an outbreak of disease caused by problems on the farm or with the food processor. Today, there is increased concern about the production end of food because of outbreaks of a variety of diseases caused by contamination on farms, in imported foods, and in food processing facilities. These outbreaks usually are documented in the national press and receive a considerable amount of publicity and therefore community interest.
The analysis of programs, in this presentation, will be at the local level, since thousands of health departments are responsible for foodborne disease outbreaks, at least initially. The greatest proportion of these outbreaks are related to food preparation facilities, since 57% of current foodborne disease outbreaks occur in these facilities, whereas 29% occur in homes, 6% in schools, and 8% in other settings. In 2006, Norovirus (Norwalk virus) accounted for 54% of the outbreaks and some 12,000 cases, whereas Salmonella accounted for 18% of the outbreaks. Poultry was responsible for 21% of the outbreaks, various vegetables for 17% of the outbreaks, and fruits and nuts for 16% of the outbreaks. Norovirus is a serious problem probably attributed to the personnel who are handling the food at the point of service. (As noted previously in this book dates change frequently depending on the source, therefore this information is only a means of giving the reader some indication of the size of the problem.)
At the local level, the health department typically is the lead or only agency involved in the response to a foodborne disease outbreak. However, in some local governmental units, such as Sacramento County and San Diego County in California and Maricopa County in Arizona, the environmental health agency is not part of a local health department, but rather a free-standing and equal, separate agency. In those situations, the environmental health unit must work closely with epidemiologists assigned to the health department to investigate foodborne illness outbreaks. The local environmental health unit is typically the first responder. It is responsible for food inspections in restaurants, grocery stores, daycare facilities, hospitals, schools, prisons, and food manufacturing plants, and for answering complaints concerning food or facilities. It provides food protection education to food handlers and managers, helps educate the community about foodborne disease and prevention, and works with establishments on critical control points along the food processing and preparation chain.
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