St. Louis Department Of Health Receives Award To Improve Food Safety

April 23, 2021

Unfortunately, Norovirus, Salmonella, Staphylococci, E. coli, and Listeria are names we know all too well. These are some of the known germs that cause illness after consuming certain foods. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that of the 31 most known foodborne disease pathogens found in food consumed in the United States, 9.4 million illnesses, 55,961 hospital admissions and 1,351 deaths occur each year.

“The St. Louis Department of Health’s Food and Beverage Control Program (DOH) works to minimize the risk of unsafe food in the community and to empower individuals with accurate and timely information to make informed food consumption decisions,” said Dr. Patrick Naabien. Food and Beverage Control Manager for the St. Louis Department of Health. “A key goal of our program is to identify potential food-borne disease outbreaks by investigating outbreaks as they occur to control them and limit the number of other people who get sick during the outbreak. Thanks to a few recently funds received, DOH will do this. ” able to evaluate a resource that could help improve city food safety efforts. The funding will help the ministry build on its commitment to protecting public health by improving the quality and performance of services to our residents and visitors. “

DOH received an award from the National Environmental Health Association and the CDC in support of their food and beverage control program. The Department of Health will use the funds to determine whether the National Environmental Assessment Reporting System (NEARS) [www.cdc.gov] fits well with the department’s food safety program.

“The CDC recommends using NEARS to improve food safety in the United States,” says Dr. Naabias. “The data collected by the system can be used in outbreak investigations and routinely day-to-day in approving and inspecting food service companies. NEARS can be an important resource in preventing foodborne disease outbreaks.”

DOH will use the recently granted funding to assess whether NEARS data can help identify environmental causes of outbreaks in the city, take follow-up action to reduce or prevent future foodborne disease outbreaks, assess the ministry’s food safety program, and make improvements Based on these actions, establish policies, develop or change program policies or regulations, focus limited program resources on actions with the greatest impact, and adhere to the Food and Drug Administration’s food retail standards. There are 23 local jurisdictions [www.cdc.gov] in the United States currently using the system.

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