Speakers: Keith L. Krinn, RS, MA, DAAS, CPHA; Christina R. Wilson, JD, RS
Columbus Public Health's Food Protection Program utilizes a multi-faceted approach to keeping and bringing licensed retail food facilities into compliance the Ohio Uniform Food Safety Code via educational and enforcement activities.
Columbus Public Health (CPH), 2009 Samuel J. Crumbine Consumer Protection Award recipient, developed a comprehensive strategic plan to affect fundamental change to the Food Protection Program. This plan addressed the following issues:
1. Food safety education and training;
2. Knowledge and understanding of the changes in the new risk-based code and the science of food safety;
3. Bridging language and cultural barriers;
4. Providing easy access to public information;
5. An increase in the number of inspections to meet state-mandated frequency of inspection criterion;
6. Addressing the concerns of food security and defense; and,
7. The need to develop an improved enforcement model.
CPH has been communicating these risk factors associated with foodborne illness to the operators and the public by performing risk-based inspections, providing extensive food safety information on the CPH website, and developing the SIGNS Public Information Initiative to promote transparency and better disclose compliance and enforcement information to the public. As part of the SIGNS initiative, consumers can search our website for details of critical violations observed during previous inspections, which empowers consumers to make informed choices regarding patronage. A durable plastic sign which uses a color-coded system to inform the public of the facility’s compliance and enforcement status is posted at the entrance of licensed facilities.
CPH has taken an active role in providing risk-focused food safety education by presenting regularly scheduled Person-in-Charge (PIC) and ServSafe Managers’ Certification training classes in English, Spanish, Mandarin, and Somali.
All the CPH staff worked together as a team to contribute to the successful application for the 2009 Samuel J. Crumbine Consumer Protection Award. The staff persevered after an unsuccessful attempt in 2008, and incorporated the comments of the Crumbine Award Jury to improve both the program and application.
Understand and apply principles to establish a model food protection program.