Environmental Public Health Journal 2015 | BCIT Institutional Repository

Environmental Public Health Journal 2015

Determining a relationship between licensing status and semi-quantitative risk score for BC dairy processing plants
Background: Following the 2014 Gort’s Gouda Cheese Escherichia coli O157:H7 outbreak which resulted in one death and 28 illnesses, an examination of dairy processing plants (DPP) within British Columbia (BC) was undertaken. The intent of this examination was to efficiently allocate resources to ensure a lower likelihood of future outbreaks occurring in a BC DPP and to improve current knowledge regarding DPP practices. A risk-based approach to assessing inspection activities for DPPs was undertaken. As such, the purpose of the project was to create a semi-quantitative tool to assess inherent risk factors of DPPs, after which it would be used to determine appropriate inspection frequencies for these plants based on their risk scores. Finally, a comparison between provincially licensed and federally registered dairies was conducted in order to examine if there was a difference in risk between the two licensing statuses. Methods: A semi-quantitative approach was used to characterize responses to a survey (Shi, 2014) conducted by the BCCDC between August and December 2014. This survey was sent to all DPPs (n=54) operating in BC. Each survey question related to increasing information on conditions found in DPPs, after which a semi-quantitative assessment approach was used to assign a total risk inherent to each DPP due to the conditions found in the facility. The DPPs were then ranked against each other with respect to their risk scores in order to assess which facility was considered of higher risk. Facilities were grouped by their licensing status, provincially licensed or federally registered, and then compared against one another using a two variable t-test in NCSS 10. Semi-quantitative risk assessment was done using an Excel tool designed specifically for the present study. Results: Complete data was obtained for 85%(n=46) of DPPs, with an equal number of provincial and federal DPPs used in the evaluation. Dairies were ranked against one another with respect to their total risk score. A statistically significant difference (p=0.036) was found when comparing the inherent risk of provincial and federal DPPs, with federally registered dairies showing a lower total inherent risk score. Conclusion: The information obtained from this study provided the BCCDC with a standardized risk-based inspection approach. Ranking of DPPs with respect to their inherent risk also allows inspectors to gain better understanding of present day dairies and their high risk issues. This reassessment allows for the development of more efficient inspection schedules in order to effectively allocate inspection resources and to increase the ability for inspectors to capture and prevent risks which would lead to foodborne illnesses., Project submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirement for the degree of Bachelor of Technology in Environmental Health, British Columbia Institute of Technology, 2015., Peer-reviewed article, Published., Peer reviewed, Dairy, Cheese, Milk, Semi-quantitative, Risk assessment, British Columbia, Gort’s Gouda Cheese, E. coli, BCCDC, Outbreak, Foodborne illness, Environmental health, Inspection
Dinesafe Toronto
Background: The purpose of this research study was to analyse the success of Toronto’s placard system (Dinesafe) in reducing the number of violations in food service establishments. The placard system is designed to inform the public about restaurant inspection results and to boost operator compliance. Inspections are a point-in-time check of the facility’s ability to manage the risk it poses to public health. It is accepted that if best practices are implemented as designed by an establishment’s food safety and sanitation plan, the risk of a foodborne illness/outbreak can be minimized. Methods: From the Dinesafe program, the number of violations cited at each inspection from all relevant food service establishments receiving a conditional pass from two time periods, 2004-2006 (Before) and 2012-2014 (After), were compared to see if there was a decrease in violations. The reports, completed by Public Health Inspectors (PHI), were retrieved from a publicly available website. Data were analysed using a two-sample T-test. Results: The anticipated decrease in violations in the second time frame was not significant [p = 0.85] nor strong (α = 0.001). The means were similar (3.83 Before and 3.71 After), with standard deviations of 1.91 and 1.79 respectively. A greater number of restaurants were cited in the After analysis (3169 compared to 572). Inspections from 2004-2006 had fewer violations (12 or less) than 2012-1014 (14 or less). The majority of violations (71% Before and 73% After) were between 2 and 4. Reoffenders comprised of 16.3% of total violations in 2004-2006 and 17.5% in 2012-2014. Conclusion: There is no evidence that the placard system has decreased violations or that counting the number of violations a good measure for compliance. Pushback among operators could explain the increase in the number of establishments cited. The increase in maximum citation could be due to an increase in citations available from 2012-2014. The number of establishments that received a conditional pass twice in a time frame increased from 59% to 68%. The maximum number of times an establishment received a conditional pass dropped from 10 to 8. It is recommended that Health Units use plain language narrative on the website rather than violations as a measure to communicate findings to the public. The placard significance should be better communicated to the public., Project submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirement for the degree of Bachelor of Technology in Environmental Health, British Columbia Institute of Technology, 2015., Peer-reviewed article, Published., Peer reviewed, Placard, Restaurant, Inspection, Toronto, Conditional pass, Dinesafe, Foodborne illness