From March 2017 to April 2018, the Cobb & Douglas Public Health (CDPH) Center for Environmental Health conducted a Risk Factor Study of its food service facilities to help measure the success of the CDPH Food Program in reducing the occurrence of foodborne illness risk factors. For this study, about 290 food service establishments were randomly selected in the health district for assessment regarding the factors determined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to contribute to the majority of foodborne illnesses: food from unsafe sources, inadequate cooking, improper holding/time and temperature, contaminated equipment/cross contamination, poor personal hygiene. In addition to a need to improve upon Employee Health Policy compliance being identified, the following were observed to have the highest percentage of non-compliance during the course of the study: proper cold holding, cleaned & sanitized equipment, and personal hygienic practices.
Over the next few weeks, information regarding intervention strategies that will be implemented by CDPH to help improve compliance regarding these risk factors and public health interventions will be introduced. The strategies are considered to be practical ways to enhance food safety. There will be an opportunity for individual and facility recognition as well. Stay tuned!