WOULD YOU LIKE TO PARTICIPATE IN OUR NEXT FOOD SAFETY PARTNERSHIP PANEL?

Our next Food Safety Partnership Panel will focus on the Source of Food.  If you are an operator of a food service establishment and would like to represent the food industry on this panel, please contact Cobb & Douglas Public Health’s Food Program Manager, Karen Gulley, at 678-385-5066 or via email at Karen.Gulley@dph.ga.gov .  This panel episode is scheduled to be recorded on Monday, July 24th at 2:00 PM at the Douglas County Courthouse.

From the Manager’s Desk: Consumer Advisories

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Does Your Operation Need to Provide a Consumer Advisory?

If So, Does Yours Meet Code?

The failure to provide a consumer advisory when one is required has been found to be a violation in quite a few facilities in the Cobb & Douglas Health district. Not only can this result in the loss of points from the overall inspection score, but, it can also contribute to a consumer’s illness– and even death. The person-in charge of a food service facility should know: (1) whether or not the facility needs to have a consumer advisory [which is not always obvious]; and, if so, (2) what the advisory must contain as well as the locations an advisory is required. Please continue reading to help ensure that you are in compliance.

The consumer should have the opportunity to make a well-informed decision regarding the foods being considered for consumption, therefore, they should be informed of inherent risks to their health prior to the food being ordered or selected. An advisory is needed in the location where raw or undercooked foods (or ingredients) of animal origin are ordered or selected by the consumer.   Some of the areas that are commonly forgotten when considering whether or not an advisory is needed include the offering of such partially or uncooked food from a take-out menu, from a grill in which food is cooked to a customer’s request, and from a buffet bar.

The consumer advisory must contain both a disclosure as to the specific food(s) referred to as well as the following reminder statement: *CONSUMING RAW OR UNDERCOOKED MEATS, POULTRY, SEAFOOD, SHELLFISH, OR EGGS MAY INCREASE YOUR RISK OF FOODBORNE ILLNESS.

One of our environmental health specialists (Jen Birdsong) has prepared the following document [CLICK HERE] to help you in your efforts to comply with the regulations regarding the consumer advisory and options available to attain compliance.

If further assistance is needed, please contact me at 678-385-5066.

Karen Gulley

Environmental Health County Manager

Two New Food Safety Tools from the CDC

Over half of foodborne illness outbreaks are associated with restaurants. Be a part of the solution with new tools from the Centers for Disease Control:

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• The e-Learning on Environmental Assessment of Foodborne Illness Outbreaks is a free interactive online course to help prepare individuals to serve on a team that investigates foodborne illness outbreaks in restaurants and other food service venues. Continuing education units (CEUs) are available.

• The National Voluntary Environmental Assessment Information System (NVEAIS) is a new surveillance system targeted to jurisdictions that inspect and regulate restaurants and other food venues such as banquet facilities, schools, and other institutions. The system provides an avenue to capture underlying environmental assessment data that describes what happened and how events most likely led to a foodborne illness outbreak.

Access the two tools above at the following site: (http://www.cdc.gov/nceh/ehs/News/Features/2014/food-safety-tools.html)