Foodborne Illness Testimonials

by Casey Saenz, Environmental Health Specialist 3

Recently, at a monthly staff meeting, our Food Program Manager Karen Gulley played for us a video testimonial regarding a case of food poisoning that led to a fatality.  After the video, she said something that was very important for all of us to hear.  She mentioned that sometimes, we, as inspectors, forget the importance of the risk factors for foodborne illness that are assessed during inspections.  Since we check various food service facilities on a daily basis, it is important that we don’t minimize the importance of what we do to help prevent foodborne illness by allowing what we do to become too routine.  This is as important—if not more important– for operators of food service facilities to keep in mind.

Since September is Food Safety Education Month, I thought this would be a good opportunity to share a few foodborne illness testimonial videos to help remind all of us about those that count on us to keep their food safe and the importance of food safety.

Foodborne Illness Testimonial Videos Link:

https://www.fda.gov/Food/ResourcesForYou/ucm608193.htm 

More testimonials can be viewed here:

https://goo.gl/XVm6AX

Happy Food Safety Month!

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Keep It Clean!

Photo by Burst on Pexels.com

During a recent study in our food service establishments of the common factors that cause foodborne illness, two areas identified as needing more attention were handwashing and keeping food & food contact surfaces protected and clean. Foodsafety.gov has provided a good summary of tips and facts to assist with gaining

knowledge and training in this area.  The Clean principle covers:

  • When and how to wash your hands
  • When and how to wash food contact surfaces
  • Where and how to wash fruits & vegetables (but not meat or poultry)

Plus, there’s a short summary video to tie it all together!

Let’s keep it clean!

 

IT’S FOOD SAFETY EDUCATION MONTH: New Partnership Panel and Employee Health Campaign Launch!

Check out Episode #14 of our Food Safety Partnership Panel where we discuss The Risk Factor Challenge.  You will also be introduced to our Employee Health Achievers Campaign and receive the results of our recent Risk Factor Study.   Operators that successfully participate in the campaign will receive certificates of achievement and their establishment names will be posted on our website (click here to learn more).

Each of our Food Safety Partnership Panels (covering a variety of topics) is available on the Environmental Health Food Service section of our website and is about 30 minutes in length.  These can be used for review and training as applicable.  They are also shown regularly on Cobb TV and DCTV23.

   

4 STEPS TO FOOD SAFETY WHILE HAVING FUN!

As many will be wrapping up the summer season with Labor Day weekend fun and eats, this is just a reminder to think about food safety while doing so.  Please take a look at this short and to the point video about areas to focus on as we clean, separate, cook, and chill: Every Good Meal Should Start with Food Safety  produced by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

A Safe Cooking Temperatures Reminder from the National Restaurant Association

During this 3rd week of National Food Safety Education Month, food service operators and consumers are reminded of the safe cooking temperatures required for foods that need to be time and temperature controlled in order to help protect against food borne illness.  Take a look at this short video from the National Restaurant Association as a reminder of the various categories of food and their respective cooking temperatures: 

Direct link to video: https://youtu.be/x7ujUPbMkNw

GUIDANCE FOR DEALING WITH POWER OUTAGES AND WATER DAMAGE DURING EMERGENCIES

Some areas throughout Georgia are still without power and dealing with water damage as a result of Hurricane/Tropical Storm Irma.  Please be reminded that only food service operations with a previously approved Emergency Operations Plan are allowed to operate more than 2 hours without power or water per the Georgia Department of Public Health Food Service Rules and Regulations.  All other facilities must cease operation and contact the health department for further guidance.  [In Cobb: 770-435-7815  or Douglas: 770-920-7311]

For helpful information to assist the public in regard to keeping safe in emergency situations, especially in regard to power outages and flooding, please see the following links:

Food Safety:  

USDA:  Food Safety During Power Outages Infographic

CDPH:  Consumer’s Guide to Food Safety During Emergencies

 

Mold Clean-up and Removal:

YouTube:  Preventing Mold After a Disaster

Private Well Water Disinfection after Flooding:

EPA:  Wells – What to Do After the Flood

Septic Systems after Flooding:

EPA:  Septic Systems – What to Do After the Flood

National Food Safety Education Month

September is National Food Safety Education Month.  During this first week, we are pleased to announce the availability of  the 12th episode of our Food Safety Partnership Panel entitled Back to the Basics: Risk Factors 101.  This episode covers the main areas of focus during food service inspections and provides a demonstration of the clean-up response to an incident of vomitus in an establishment, as well as a presentation of the main components of an employee health policy.

All of the Partnership Panel episodes can be viewed on our website at the following link:

http://www.cobbanddouglaspublichealth.com/environmental-health/food-services/food-safety-partnership-panels/

Over the next four weeks, we will emphasize specific areas to assist you with your food safety knowledge.  Be sure to check out our Food Service page for more Partnership Panel episodes along with helpful tools and Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ).