Swept Away

Broom

A co-worker and I recently inspected a fast food facility, and we noticed that they had a problem with roaches in the kitchen (my co-worker quickly spotted one crawling along an electrical cord).  As we began to inspect other areas of the kitchen, we saw buckets full of grease and food debris along the coved base of the floor, but one thing that really stood out in this roach-saga was their broom and dustpan.  This dastardly “cleaning” duo could easily serve as a well stocked food court for many pests.

We immediately reminded the person in charge (PIC) about the importance of keeping non-food contact surfaces clean, especially as a means to help prevent a pest infestation.  This illustrates the importance of routinely cleaning non-food contact surfaces, and it shows how quickly things can get out of control when this task is overlooked.

Along with writing up a violation under Item# 18 for Pest and Animal Control, this violation was also marked under Item# 15C, for uncleanliness of non–food contact surfaces.  As the Rules and Regulations for Food Service states, these non-food contact surfaces must be cleaned at a sufficient frequency to prevent the accumulation of soil and debris.

– Contributed by Casey Saenz, EHS

Chapel Hill Creamery Cheese Products Recall

Recall of Chapel Hill Creamery cheese products sold in Georgia over public health risks from Salmonella

Georgia Agriculture Commissioner Gary W. Black is alerting Georgians to the recall of various Chapel Hill Creamery cheese products, made in North Carolina and distributed in Georgia, due to potential health risks. Georgia Department of Agriculture (GDA) inspectors will be checking retail stores, distribution centers and warehouses to make sure the recalled products have been removed from sale. Here is the information via the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA):

Chapel Hill Creamery in Chapel Hill, NC, is recalling all Chapel Hill Creamery cheese products because of a potential association with an outbreak of Salmonella infections. Salmonella can cause serious and sometimes fatal infections in young children, the elderly, and others with weakened immune systems. Healthy persons infected with Salmonella often experience fever, diarrhea that is often bloody, nausea, vomiting and abdominal pain. In rare circumstances, infection with Salmonella can result in more severe illnesses.

Health officials have identified recent cases of Salmonella infection in persons who consumed Chapel Hill Creamery products. To date, no illnesses have been confirmed in Georgia linked to this outbreak.

The recalled products were distributed at retail stores, farmers markets, and restaurants in Georgia, North Carolina, Tennessee, South Carolina and Virginia. The products involved in the recall include all codes, packages and sizes of the following varieties of cheese manufactured by Chapel Hill Creamery:

• Quark
• Danziger
• Swiss
• Paneer
• Calvander
• Hot Farmers Cheese
• New Moon
• Smoked Mozzarella
• Fresh Mozzarella
• Burrata
• Hickory Grove
• Carolina Moon
• Smoked Farmers Cheese
• Dairyland Farmers Cheese
• Pheta

Chapel Hill Creamery is working in cooperation with the public health and regulatory officials in North Carolina to identify the source of the Salmonella. The company will provide updated information on its website chapelhillcreamery.com as it becomes available; additionally, a local health department in North Carolina has provided a hot line (919) 245-2378 for questions.

This is one of several recalls impacting Georgia this week. To view a comprehensive list or sign up for e-mail alerts, please visit www.agr.georgia.gov/recalls.aspx. If this recall expands or additional details become available, the website will provide the most up-to-date information. Also follow the GDA on Twitter @GDAFoodSafety for recall alerts and food safety tips.

Cobb & Douglas Public Health Win Model Practice Award!

NACCHO-Award-Photo-07.21.16 (1)

At the recent NACCHO Annual Conference in Phoenix, AZ, Cobb & Douglas Public Health was recognized for their efforts in both producing and sustaining their Food Safety Partnership Panels.  You can get the full story at the following link:

http://www.cobbanddouglaspublichealth.com/2016/07/cdph-honored-excellence-public-health/

Now Showing: A New Food Safety Partnership Panel!

Food Safety Partnership Panel #10:

Typhoid Mary: The Power of One

Join us as we take a look at lessons learned from the infamous Typhoid Mary, reminding viewers of important principles that need to be adhered to in order to help minimize the possibility of disease transmission via food.

 

Each partnership panel is approximately 30 minutes long and all 10 may be found on our website at http://www.cobbanddouglaspublichealth.com/environmental-health/food-services/ .

It’s Environmental Health Week!

EH Week

Governor Nathan Deal has recognized the crucial work performed locally by Environmental Health staff and declared this week Environmental Health Week!  One should never underestimate the value of safe food, clean water, proper wastewater disposal, and general sanitation to the increased life expectancy and improved standard of living that people have experienced over the past century.  These are things that people often take for granted, but without the safety net of environmental health, these key public health accomplishments would crumble at their foundation.   The hard work and dedication of Environmental Health staff throughout the state of Georgia play a key part in assuring  that the public health foundation of Georgia remains strong.

 – Chris Hutcheson, Director, Center for Environmental Health

 

 

Dry Storage Gone Bad!

image001

Toward the end of this facility’s last routine inspection, I realized that I had not yet seen their dry storage area. I asked the person-in-charge (PIC) to show me where it was located. When the PIC unlocked the closet, I was a little surprised (and also grateful) that nothing toppled onto my head.

This is a good example of how not to store food, equipment, utensils, and paper goods. As you can see from the picture, this arrangement does not allow much room for cleaning the floors and walls. This could also lead to a huge problem with roaches or rodents because there are plenty of places for them to hide and any evidence of their presence would be difficult to see. I quickly informed the PIC that this room was a public health concern and explained why it was critical that all of these items needed to be stored at least 6 inches above the floor.

This violation was marked under 14B: “Utensils, equipment and linens: properly stored, dried, handled” on their food service inspection.

Contributed by Casey Saenz, EHS3

Got ServSafe?

Most food service establishments are required to have a Certified Food Safety Manager (CFSM) on staff.  Since the certification for a CFSM is only valid for 5 years, it’s critical that restaurant operators be aware of when the credential is nearing its expiration date.  If you, or someone you know, is in need of this certification or due for re-certification,  Cobb & Douglas Public Health will be presenting a ServSafe class in partnership with the Cobb County Cooperative Extension Service on July 26-27.

Additional information for this class, including a registration form, can be found at the following link:

CERTIFIED FOOD SAFETY MANAGER COURSES