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Lake County General Health District Relaunches Food Safety Ninja Website

Mar 21, 2023 | Guest Author

The following post was sent to NACCHO by Paul Stromp, Resource Development Coordinator at Lake County General Health District, OH. Lake County General Health District has been working with the Food Safety Programs of both the FDA and NACCHO since 2012. They have acted as Mentees and Mentors in the 2013, 2015, and 2016 Cohorts of NACCHO’s Retail Program Standards Mentorship program, and are continuing progress as active members of the FDA Voluntary National Retail Food Regulatory Program Standards.

The Lake County General Health District is excited to announce a re-launch of the Food Safety Ninja Website. The newly designed website provides important food safety information that can be used at home and for food services as well. The new homepage has up to date food recall and outbreak articles, weekly new food safety tips and videos, printable resources and handouts, quizzes with printable certificates food safety links, and an “Ask the Experts” section where you can ask specific food safety questions that will be answered by [Lake County’s] food staff. Additionally, there is an interactive “That’s Just Wrong!” page where the District will post a Wrong picture of a particular food safety topic and a description of why it is wrong. Website patrons will then be asked to send in their own food safety picture related to that topic. In the near future, it will become a bimonthly contest for participants to win “That’s Just Wrong!” merchandise.

Website Origin Story

In 2015, the Lake County General Health District (LCGHD) obtained a five-year FDA grant to improve the food safety program in Lake County. Included within the grant was the requirement to create an innovative food safety intervention directed at food establishments. LCGHD food staff reached out to a local professor in search of a community collaboration to create this educational intervention. Steven Gutierrez, of the Cleveland Institute of Art (CIA), created an animation course designed around this grant. His students along with LCGHD food staff members created The Food Safety Ninja. The CIA students designed the first 6 animated food safety videos. Steven Gutierrez created a webpage to host these animated videos. This website served as an educational intervention that licensed food establishments were sent to for remedial education when certain food safety violations were found during a routine inspection. LCGHD has removed the mandatory remedial education portion of the website, but the education videos and quizzes remain for use by anyone desiring food safety training. At the completion of the FDA grant, LCGHD continued to keep the website active with further collaboration with Steven Gutierrez and the creation of two additional videos. In 2022, they decided that the webpage needed to be reformatted into a site that is usable by not only the regulated food community but also the general public. By adding additional videos, new content, and interactive sections, LCGHD hopes that the page will be found useful by many people around the world.

You are invited to browse the website at the link below.

https://foodsafetyninja.org

Besides the informative home page, please click on LCGHD’s Videos and Food Service tabs at the top of the page to see some of their past accomplishments and recent additions including the newer Storage video and Backyard Food Safety video. These videos continue to highlight the adventures of the Food Safety Ninja and Shaggy, the likeable food service employee!

This new website is a good success story of how far LCGHD’s food program has progressed since they began the journey with NACCHO and FDA. We invite you to share the website if you feel it can benefit your local health department!

If you have any questions please feel free to contact:


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About Guest Author

NACCHO periodically invites guest authors to write first-person accounts of their work in public health. To submit your own story for consideration, please visit our form.

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