Fast food inspection illustration

NACCHO Toolbox: Accessible Food Safety Tools at Your Fingertips

Sep 05, 2023 | Shermeen Rais

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) estimates that foodborne illnesses cost the United States more than $15.6 billion each year.

An estimated 600 million people in the world fall ill after eating contaminated food, and 420,000 die every year due to foodborne illnesses. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), it is estimated that “each year, 1 in 6 Americans get sick from contaminated food or beverages and 3,000 die from foodborne illness. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) estimates that foodborne illnesses cost the United States more than $15.6 billion each year.” Effective and standardized food safety practices by consumers and retail food establishments can help prevent foodborne illness from bacteria, viruses, parasites or chemicals.

NACCHO’s Food Safety toolkit can help local and state health departments involved in food safety, helping you navigate information on foodborne and waterborne diseases including responses to outbreaks. It is also an informative resource for business owners, food operators and managers who need to be informed about the importance of food safety practices at their establishments, therefore, local health departments can consider sharing this resource with their local food managers and food service establishments.

The Toolkit is a free online collection of public health tools for local health departments and other stakeholders to advance their knowledge or gain skills. The toolkit consists of 97+ publicly available resources and is simple to navigate via NACCHO’s website under resources and accessible after you create a free account on MyNACCHO.

The Food Safety Toolkit not only includes protocols for health departments, but case studies, presentations, factsheets, drills, evaluations, and more.

Emergency Handbook for Food Managers

One example is the Emergency Handbook which is a 24-page manual that provides step-by-step emergency information to food managers and discusses natural and manmade emergencies. This manual provides food managers at food service establishments with a quick-reference handbook that is easy to use for emergency preparedness and response. The handbook presents what to do first, who to call, and steps to keep people and food safe in emergencies from flooding and power outage to chemical contamination and tampering. It gives tips in the event of a longer-term emergency and steps for recovery after an emergency. The handbook and lesson set offers practical, relatively simple, and low-cost steps that can be taken to tighten food security, keep food safe and reduce the negative impacts of a variety of emergencies.

https://toolbox.naccho.org/pages/tool-view.html?id=420

Basic Requirements to Operate a Mobile Food Establishment

This is a 14-page manual explaining the different types of food establishments and requirements that would need to be fulfilled in order to run one, responsibilities of holding a permit for an establishment, precautions, and things to look out for a successful mobile establishment.

https://toolbox.naccho.org/pages/tool-view.html?id=1481

Foodborne and Waterborne Disease Outbreak Manual

This is a 119-page manual for reporting suspected outbreak related illnesses. Highlighted sections include: Criteria for Confirmation of Etiologic Agents, Contact Agencies and Personnel, Collection of Clinical Samples, Collection and Handling of Food Samples, Exclusion Guidelines for Food Workers, Final Report for a Foodborne Outbreak Investigation, Collection and Handling of Water Samples, Boil Water Advisory, Public Health Concerns Following a Natural Disaster, Outbreak Investigation at a Recreational or Educational Camp, Statement Regarding Fee Exempt Testing, Tips Towards a Safer Kitchen, and Hand Washing.

https://toolbox.naccho.org/pages/tool-view.html?id=310&userToken=65530368-2ddf-454d-93da-6c6816d2b88c&Site=NACCHO

The Food Safety Toolkit not only includes protocols, but case studies, presentations, factsheets, drills, evaluations, and more.

Check out the full sources at toolbox.naccho.org/pages/index.html.


About Shermeen Rais

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