Environmental Public Health Journal 2018 | BCIT Institutional Repository

Environmental Public Health Journal 2018

Critical food safety violations in Surrey
Background: Foodborne illness affects 4 million (1 in 8) Canadians each year, with at least 50% of these illnesses linked to restaurants. Environmental Health Officers (EHOs) conduct routine, demand, and follow-up restaurant inspections to safeguard the public. Critical violations (CVs) must be corrected during inspection because they have a high probability of causing a foodborne illness. Examples of CVs include: previously served food not being discarded, and infrequent handwashing from employees. Previous research has shown that individuals of low socioeconomic status are more susceptible to foodborne illness. According to Statistics Canada, the poverty rate in Surrey, British Columbia, is 14.8%, which is slightly higher than the national rate of 14.2%. Unfortunately, there is limited research that assesses the safety of food service establishments in different socioeconomic neighbourhoods. This study examined the relationship between the number of CVs in chain and independent restaurants and median household income in three communities within Surrey. Methods: Secondary data was used for this study. The researcher collected publicly accessible restaurant inspection reports from the Fraser Health website. Three communities (Whalley, Fleetwood, South Surrey) within Surrey were selected for comparison according to their median household income (from City of Surrey Community Demographic Profiles webpage). Whalley and South Surrey had the lowest and highest median household income, respectively. Fleetwood was chosen based on its proximity to the median household income for Surrey. The researcher then recorded the name and restaurant type within these communities using Zomato. 25 chain and 25 independent restaurants were randomly selected in each community. In total, 150 restaurants were analyzed. The number of CVs, violation code, and hazard rating were compared between January 2016 and December 2017. Results: Independent restaurants were found to have more CVs than chain restaurants in all communities. There was an association between the number of CVs observed in both types of restaurants and the restaurant's hazard rating. The p-values for chain restaurants in Whalley, Fleetwood, and South Surrey are: 0.00, 0.00006, and 0.00, respectively. Meanwhile the p-values for independent restaurants in all three communities are 0.00. In general, independent restaurants had more moderate or high hazard ratings than chain restaurants. The top four CVs found in all communities were related to poor sanitation of equipment, improper storage of cold potentially hazardous foods,and lack of adequate handwashing stations. Finally, a negative correlation was observed between the number of CVs in both restaurant types and the neighbourhood median household income (p-value for chain and independent restaurants = 0.0186 and 0.0073, respectively). Conclusion: The findings indicate that communities with lower median household income had more CVs. Further research is needed to analyze this relationship. In addition, chain restaurants have fewer CVs than independent restaurants possibly due to their internal food safety monitoring systems. Therefore, independent restaurants may benefit from more education because this pattern has been observed in the past. Finally, an educational intervention is potentially necessary for restaurant operators in Surrey to reduce the top four CVs, thereby improving the restaurants' hazard rating., Peer reviewed, 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, 2018., Critical Violations, Restaurant Inspections, Restaurant Type, Chain Restaurants, Independent Restaurants, Food Safety, Foodborne illness, Median Household Income, Fraser Health Authority
Evaluating the effectiveness of cleaning with detergent soap alone verses detergent soap followed by sanitizer on reducing aerobic microorganism numbers that are present on food contact surfaces
Background: Cross-contamination is one of the leading causes of foodborne illness which poses a massive burden to an individual’s health and to the healthcare system. One way to prevent cross-contamination is through the elimination of pathogens from surfaces by properly washing with a detergent soap followed by sanitizing with a sanitizer. However, as found from a previous research study, not all restaurants in British Columbia wash and sanitize their food contact surfaces. Thus, this study aims to compare the cleaning effectiveness between using detergent soap alone verses using detergent soap followed by sanitizer. Methods: Aerobic organisms were introduced to a cutting board by cutting alfalfa sprouts and then the surface was cleaned with Dawn Detergent soap and sanitized with 200ppm of chlorine bleach sanitizing solution. 3M™ Quick Swabs were used to sample the aerobic organisms (colony forming units) prior to and after each method of cleaning. The swabs were then transferred to 3M™ Petrifilm Plates, incubated at room temperature for 4 days, and then enumerated. Results: The results show that there is a statistically significant greater microbial reduction through cleaning with detergent soap followed by sanitizer (mean log microbial reduction of 4.10) as compared to cleaning with detergent soap alone (mean log microbial reduction of 3.53). The p-value obtained is 0.003843 when α=0.05. The power was determined to be 92%. Conclusions: This study was able to conclude that cleaning with detergent soap followed by sanitizer is 0.57 log (mean log microbial reduction of 4.10 - mean log microbial reduction of 3.53) more effective at cleaning than using detergent soap alone. However, the specific log microbial reduction value for the detergent soap followed by sanitizer achieved in this study is lower than what is found in the previous studies (Gilbert, 1970; Sores et al., 2012; Rossvoll et al., 2015). A possible reason for this discrepancy may be due to the presence of soil and food debris on the surface which may have had interfered with the sanitizing ability of the chlorine bleach (Lee et al., 2007)., Peer reviewed, 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, 2018., Aerobic organism, Colony forming unit, Chlorine bleach, Sanitizer, Sanitizing, Detergent soap, Cleaning, Cutting board, Food contact surface, Cross-contamination, Foodborne illness, Cleaning methods, Log reduction
Gaps and common misconceptions in public’s food safety knowledge
Background: Incidence rates of some foodborne illnesses (FBIs) in BC still remain on the rise despite numerous initiatives to prevent FBIs. This rise over the years has been attributed to gaps in the public’s food-safety knowledge and practices. In order to decrease incidence rates and prevent future FBIs, efforts should be made to identify common misconceptions in the public’s food safety knowledge. With a focus on the Metro Vancouver population, common misconceptions in food safety were found and their knowledge level towards the misconceptions was analyzed. Methods: An in-person survey was conducted in three locations in Metro Vancouver. The survey asked for demographics information, perceived food safety knowledge and food safety misconceptions. ANOVA and Independent Sample T-test were administered to analyze results. Results: No statistically significant difference in food safety knowledge was found between groups by gender, age, and geographic region. The majority of participants rated their food safety knowledge as moderate but they demonstrated a poor knowledge level in food safety. Conclusion: The public’s knowledge level should be improved to prevent further rises of FBIs. Initiatives involving the provincial Foodsafe certification program, secondary school curriculums and health authority websites can be utilized to educate the public., Peer reviewed, 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, 2018., Food safety, Misconceptions, Knowledge, Foodborne illness