Master's Culminating Experience
Severe storms, natural disasters, and other emergencies resulting in extended periods of power loss can negatively impact public health as the likelihood of food-borne illnesses resulting from the consumption of food products held in refrigerators and freezers at improper temperatures is greatly increased. Additionally, food products used or served during emergency responses present additional challenges as many of the products may have other risk factors often associated with food-borne illness outbreaks. These include food from unsafe sources (food prepared in a facility not subject to regulation or inspection), improper cooking temperatures, preparation on contaminated food contact surfaces, and poor hygienic practices during preparation, storage and/or serving. Reducing the likelihood of a food-borne illness outbreak eliminates the need for resources to be redirected during emergency responses. This manuscript presents brief educational modules developed from existing sources that will provide comprehensive information for residential, health department-licensed, and non-licensed entities detailing proper food handling practices during power loss situations. The modules are designed to be delivered to business and community entities during the health department’s monthly food safety course, on the health department’s website, through other social media outlets, and during disaster responses. By developing, consolidating, and disseminating operational procedures and guidelines for safe food preparation and storage, the public can benefit from increased protection from improperly prepared and held food, health department-licensed facilities will have a better understanding of food code requirements and expectations, and residents and non-licensed entities will be better positioned to safely assist their fellow citizens in emergency situations.
Talley, T. W. (2014). Obtaining Efficiencies in Food-Borne Illness Protection for Residential, Health Department-Licensed, and Non-Licensed Entities. Wright State University, Dayton, Ohio.