Environmental Public Health Journal 2016 | BCIT Institutional Repository

Environmental Public Health Journal 2016

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An investigation of the effect of awareness and knowledge on emergency planning for food service establishment operators
INTRODUCTION: Current legislative deficit could leave food service establishments without sufficient food safety plans allowing food safety standards to decline during emergencies and increasing risk for foodborne illness. Relevant research indicates there is likely to be a lack of planning and action and lack of accessible resources on the behalf of operators and governmental agencies respectively (Story, 2007). OBJECTIVES: The primary objective of this research was to elucidate the relationship between the dependent variable: food service establishment operator’s level of emergency planning and two independent variables: their level of knowledge and level of awareness. METHODS: A list of suitable candidates was generated using Yellowpages and potential candidates were randomly selected by numerical draw. These individuals were surveyed in person and this process was repeated until 30 contacts were acquired. The data was compiled in Excel for differential statistical analyses and SAS for Chi-squared testing for statistical significance. RESULTS: Chi-square testing indicated a p-value of >0.05 for both data sets; therefore, no association was found between both food operator’s knowledge and awareness and their level of emergency planning and both null hypotheses were rejected. Mean, median, and mode values were determined to fall within the neutral-high value for the ordinal scale. CONCLUSION: Neither awareness and knowledge had a statistically significant relationship to the level of the operator’s level of emergency planning. All tested categories were of neutral-high score values meaning the surveyed data did not find a deficiency in operator planning. These results could be indicative of error in survey design meaning further research on this topic will be necessary to determine a conclusive relationship between these variables., Peer-reviewed article, Published., Project submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirement for the degree of Bachelor of Technology in Environmental Health, British Columbia Institute of Technology, 2016., Peer reviewed, Food operators, Emergency planning, Awareness, Knowledge
Sampling of elementary school playground equipment for total coliforms and E. coli
Background and Purpose: Outbreaks of enteric diseases in schools and daycares are common. It is possible that these outbreaks could be propagated via fomites in school settings, such as playground equipment that is not regularly cleaned. Studies thus far have provided conflicting results on the level of contamination present on fomites in the school setting. This project is intended to assess the level of microbial contamination present on elementary school playground surfaces as a result of hand contact from school children. Methods: Two categories of elementary school playground equipment were sampled in this study; those that are likely to see regular hand contact from children and those that were not likely see hand regular hand contact from children. 30 surfaces of each category were swabbed and the media will be plated and incubated to enumerate total coliforms and E. coli. Results: The mean number of total coliforms on high hand contact surfaces was 0.2333 cfu/100cm2, while the mean number of total coliforms on low hand contact surfaces was 0.2667 cfu/100cm2. The t-test analysis of total coliform results produced a p-value of 0.5566. The mean number of E. coli on high hand contact surfaces was 1.1333 cfu/100cm2, while the mean number of E. coli on low hand contact surfaces was 4.9000 cfu/100cm2. The t-test analysis of E. coli results produced a p-value of 0.8019. Discussion: Neither results for total coliforms or E. coli indicated significantly different numbers on high or low hand contact surfaces. This indicates that these total coliform and E. coli may not be present as a result of hand contact. Conclusion: These results do not support the deposition of coliforms or E. coli on playground equipment as a result of hand contact. However, there is still concern due to the number of samples positive for E. coli. These results suggest the need for practices such as regular hand washing in the school setting after using the playground, regular cleaning of playground materials and EHO inspections of school grounds., Peer-reviewed article, Published., Project submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirement for the degree of Bachelor of Technology in Environmental Health, British Columbia Institute of Technology, 2016., Peer reviewed, Playgrounds, Schools, Surface sampling, Sanitation, Total coliforms, Escherichia coli, Abbotsford

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