The U.S. National Environmental Health Association (NEHA) has concluded the effect budget cuts and financial strains on health and agricultural departments have had at both the local and state level is leading to stagnating salaries and inadequate or underfunded training. The result of these trends is a high turnover rate of employment, staff with less experience and training, and a decreased ability to respond to foodborne outbreaks. Smaller municipalities and local agencies tend to experience these effects at higher rates.
The report, Assessment of Foodborne Illness Outbreak Response and Investigation Capacity in US Environmental Health Food Safety Regulatory Programs, contains the results of an extensive study of the ability of food safety agencies to respond to foodborne outbreaks.
The importance of training food handlers is acknowledged as critical to effective food hygiene. However, the effectiveness of traditional food safety training remains uncertain. Traditionally food safety training courses are delivered via class-room based settings or computer-based programs with little to no hands-on application. The literature suggests that adults learn best when they are actively involved in the learning process. Retention by participants is directly affected by the amount of practice during the learning; yet traditional food safety training is not delivered in this fashion.
I will be presenting at the National Environmental Health Association Educational Conference in Washington, DC July 9-11, 2013. I will be discussing my previous work on hands-on food safety training, a collaborated effort with Drs. Doug Powell, Ben Chapman, and Leigh Murray, as well as a new food safety training delivery program developed for multicultural temporary food service events.
Would-be rock star, friend and colleague Sylvanus Thompson didn’t like the last picture I posted so he made sure he sent me a new one.
Toronto Public Health received the Crumbine Consumer Protection Award, consisting of a bronze Crumbine medallion and engraved plate, at the Annual Educational Conference of the National Environmental Health Association, on June 19 in Columbus, Ohio. This was the first time in its 56 year history that the award was presented to a local food safety jurisdiction outside of the United States. As a Crumbine Award winner, Toronto Public Health joins an elite group of local public health agencies that have demonstrated "unsurpassed achievements in providing outstanding food protection services in the community."
The selection jury noted that they were particularly impressed by:
? Innovative and new ideas in the realm of consumer protection with technically savvy items like a phone application for consumers
? Transparency, with daily website posts
? Internationally recognized program with strong impacts felt across the United States and elsewhere
Toronto won for its restaurant inspection disclosure system – red, yellow, green signs on the doors.