Industry and Regulators have a history of seeing food safety from opposite sides of the fence, but it's in their best interest to communicate and collaborate in a food-related crisis. This session will include an overview of NEHA's IFIIT-RR training program as well as some interactive exercises from the course. See how this highly reviewed program improves relations and preparation for outbreak investigations and recalls. Leave with the knowledge and tools to create that in your next food-related crisis.
As part of NEHA's continuos effort to provide convenient access to information and resources, we have gathered together for you the links in this section. Our mission is "to advance the environmental health and protection professional for the purpose of providing a healthful environment for all,” as well as to educate and inform those outside the profession.
Food Safety Focus Series IV: Breaking Down Barriers between Industry and Regulators: Can't We Just Get Along?
Food Safety Focus Series V: Increasing Outbreak Investigation Efficiency by Strengthening the Human Interaction Component
This presentation asserts that it is the human interaction component, not technology or other resources, which can most enhance the efficiency of a foodborne illness investigation. While investigating a local cluster of Salmonella cases, one agency efficiently resolved the outbreak in less than six weeks, with the enlistment of contacts at the state and federal level who had linked the cases to an ongoing multi-state cluster. See how the approach taken in this case study can help your investigations.
To assess food safety program performance, the Tennessee Department of Health conducted food service surveys of randomly selected establishments and reviewed routine inspection reports by environmental health specialists (EHSs) of the same facilities. The individual restaurant sanitation scores, along with types and frequencies of violations noted by the survey team, were compared with records from the previous year. In addition, EHSs were observed as they each performed two routine inspections. Survey team staff consistently marked more critical violations than did field EHS staff. Differences between survey teams and field EHS staff in marking critical violations were statistically significant for all 10 critical violations in the first review cycle, 8 in the second cycle, and 7 in the third cycle. Over the course of the review period, there was a small but measurable improvement in scoring by field EHS staff. Marking of critical violations increased, sanitation scores decreased, and discrepancies with survey teams in both areas decreased.
79.7 | 16-20
The pilot study discussed in this article assessed formaldehyde levels in portable classrooms (PCs) and traditional classrooms (TCs) and explored factors influencing indoor air quality (e.g., carbon dioxide, temperature, and relative humidity). In a cross-sectional design, the authors evaluated formaldehyde levels in day and overnight indoor air samples from nine PCs renovated within three years previously and three TCs in a school district in metropolitan Atlanta, Georgia. Formaldehyde levels ranged from 0.0068 to 0.038 parts per million (ppm). In both types of classroom, overnight formaldehyde median levels (PCs = 0.018 ppm; TCs = 0.019 ppm) were higher than day formaldehyde median levels (PCs = 0.011 ppm; TCs = 0.016 ppm). Carbon dioxide levels measured 470–790 ppm at 7:00 a.m. and 470–1800 ppm at 4:00 p.m. Afternoon medians were higher in TCs (1,400 ppm) than in PCs (780 ppm). Consistent with previous studies, formaldehyde levels were similar among PCs and TCs. Reducing carbon dioxide levels by improving ventilation is recommended for classrooms.
78.7 | 8-14
During July–August 2013, a gastroenteritis outbreak occurred among rafters at Idaho’s Middle Fork of the Salmon River. To identify the agent, source, and risk factors for illness, we solicited ill and well persons who rafted during July 1–September 23 to respond to an online survey, and conducted a case-control study. Cases were defined as nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea ≤25 days after rafting; control subjects were rafters who did not have these symptoms. Illness was associated with having consumed filtered river water—70% of (69/98) case subjects and 38% of (106/280) control subjects had consumed filtered water (odds ratio [OR] = 3.9; 95% confidence interval [CI] [2.4, 6.4]). In a follow-up online survey of 33 case subjects and 73 control subjects, boiling water for drinking was protective against illness; 2/18 case subjects, compared with 15/33 control subjects, had boiled their drinking water (OR = 0.2; 95% CI [0.03, 0.9]). From ill rafters, norovirus (n = 3) and Giardia (n = 8) were detected in stool specimens. Norovirus was detected on surfaces and E. coli in surface water used for drinking. Adherence to backcountry drinking water treatment recommendations is advised.
80.1 | 14-21