Foodborne illnesses and restaurnant inspections Essay Example

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Food borne illnesses and restaurant inspections

My practicum entailed participating in inspection activities to enhance their coverage and increasing the capacity of food handlers in knowledge and skills to promote food safety. Finally, I participated in activities aimed at strengthening adherence to set policies and standards that ensure production and distribution of safe food and water supplies. I reviewed the available data on food borne illnesses from the Centers for Disease Control to inform the findings of this study. The data analysis focused on the incidence of food borne illnesses reported in Texas between 2014 and 2015 (Centers for Disease Control, 2015).

This information coupled with the outcomes of the inspection activities and training exercises for food handlers provided valuable data for the preliminary conclusions. My efforts contributed significantly to the adoption of positive food handling practices that are in tandem with prevailing policy standards through awareness creation and training activities. There is no doubt that the restaurants participation in this study reduced their susceptibility to potential outbreaks in Texas (Gould et al.).

Inspection of restaurants and other eating places has the potential to prevent majority of the incidences of food borne illnesses. Through inspection activities, it is possible to detect potential outbreaks, confirm causative agents for current outbreaks, and design preventive strategies for controlling or containing an outbreak. In Texas, the main problem entails the lack of compliance with hold or cold holdings and cross-contamination by most of the restaurants thus making routine inspections inevitable. Inspection exercises should pay close attention to food handlers as key agents of cross-contamination that lead to the transmission of food borne illnesses (Scallan et al.).

There still exist glaring challenges associated with food safety namely variations in food production approaches such as imported foodstuffs, environmental changes that cause contamination of food stuff, changes in the bacteria genome leading to antimicrobial resistance, and changing consumer preferences (Ameme et al.).

The training activities for food handlers have greatly improved the knowledge and skills for preventing cross-transfer of pathogens from consumers of food products. In addition, the inspection activities for the restaurants coupled with the training activities have also improved the compliance of restaurants to policy standards regarding the processing of foodstuffs. I based on my set objectives to evaluate the progress that my practicum experience has realized to this extent. I also evaluated the outcome of the activities by revisiting the cohort of restaurants under study to establish changes in the knowledge, skills, and attitudes of the food handlers towards prevention of cross-contamination of food items (Brown et al.).

It is indubitable that restaurant inspections are very essential in reducing the incidence of food borne illnesses that contribute to preventable morbidity and mortality in the United States. The routine inspections are useful in identifying gaps that can lead to potential outbreaks, detecting causes for actual outbreaks, and identifying control measures for current outbreaks to prevent further spread. There is also need to build the capacity of inspecting officers, epidemiologists, and restaurant owners through training activities in order to improve the outcome of inspection exercises. This will address the gaps evidenced by the data generated from previous inspection exercises that did not provide conclusive data (Kwon et al.).

References

Ameme, Donne K. et al. “Outbreak of Foodborne Gastroenteritis in a Senior High School in South-Eastern Ghana: A Retrospective Cohort Study.” BMC Public Health 16.1 (2016): 564. Print.

Brown, Laura Green et al. “Restaurant Food Cooling Practices.” Journal of Food Protection® 75.12 (2012): 2172–2178. Print.

Gould, L. Hannah et al. “Contributing Factors in Restaurant-Associated Foodborne Disease Outbreaks, FoodNet Sites, 2006 and 2007.” Journal of Food Protection® 76.11 (2013): 1824–1828. Print.

Kwon, Junehee et al. “Food Safety Risks in Restaurants and School Foodservice Establishments: Health Inspection Reports.” Food Protection Trends 34.1 (2014): 25–35. Print.

Scallan, Elaine et al. “Foodborne Illness Acquired in the United States—unspecified Agents.” Emerg Infect Dis 17.1 (2011): 16–22. Print.