Environmental Public Health Journal 2023 | BCIT Institutional Repository

Environmental Public Health Journal 2023

Assessing food allergen knowledge in food service workers.
Food service workers are responsible to safely handle food that is intended for customer consumption. Many of these workers take FOODSAFE™, which is a food safety certification in British Columbia that equips students with knowledge to prevent foodborne illness. Poor food handling practices are a major factor in the causation of an allergic reaction to a certain food. When patrons with food allergies dine out, they rely on the food service workers’ knowledge about allergens and proper technique to prevent allergic reactions. The purpose of this study is to assess food allergen knowledge of food handlers., food allergen, FOODSAFE, food service worker, allergen training
Assessing Metro Vancouver residents’ knowledge and opinions of psilocybin.
Psilocybin is a naturally occurring hallucinogen found in different species of fungi. Psilocybin has gained extensive social popularity and political attention in the United States. Research has shown that psilocybin and psychological therapy may have promising therapeutic applications for safer and more effective treatment of mental illnesses such as major depressive disorder, addiction, anxiety, and obsessive-compulsive disorder. Psilocybin remains an illegal substance in Canada, and the current data on awareness, opinions, and use of psilocybin among Canadian adults are subpar. Further research on the health effects and clinical use of psilocybin is needed before any conclusions can be made. Addressing the current lack of reliable information about psilocybin among Canadians would be a sensible start., psilocybin, magic mushrooms, psychedelics, microdosing, decriminalization, attitudes
Assessing the knowledge, attitudes, and safety practices of aesthetic laser hair removal providers in British Columbia.
Aesthetic laser hair removal (LHR) has gained global popularity. Guidelines are present to assist LHR operators in safely providing their services, however, there is a need for prescriptive measures in the regulations that govern Personal Service Establishment (PSE), which Environmental Health Officers (EHOs) enforce. Inadequate training can lead to improper use of the LHR device, which can cause various injuries or disorders to both the clients and the operator. Practitioners must be sufficiently trained and educated on the risks, hazards, and safety measures required to provide LHR services adequately. Therefore, LHR providers should be assessed to determine any discrepancies in safety knowledge., laser hair removal, reduction, safety, knowledge, exposure, risk
Assessing the Mpox and infection prevention and control knowledge of personal service establishments' operators in Metro Vancouver Regional District of British Columbia.
Mpox virus, formerly known as the Monkeypox virus, is a re-emerging pathogen that causes the infectious disease Mpox. Mpox was designated as a public health emergency of international concernby the World Health Organizationdue to its rapid spread outside West and Central Africa. Personal service establishments (PSEs) could be a setting for exposure to Mpox because some of their services involve direct contact with their patrons. The aim of this research was to investigate the infection prevention and control (IPAC) and Mpox knowledge levels among PSE operatorsandto determine the associations between IPAC knowledge, Mpox knowledge, years of experience, and point-of-service risk assessment., Mpox, Infection Prevention and Control, Personal Service Establishment, Metro Vancouver Regional District, Regulations
Can smartphones with external microphones be used in place of sound level meters?
Sound and noise are two sides of the same coin, around us during our daily lives. Excessive noise is listed as a public health concern and is one of the most common environmental and occupational exposures. Many municipalities in BC enacted Bylaws to regulate noise, which are enforced by Bylaw Officers and Environmental Health Officers (EHOs). Noise complaints are addressed by conducting measurements with approved and standardized Commercial Sound Level Meters (SLMs). Smartphone technology has progressed rapidly in the past decade, including the use of external microphones. Studies have been conducted on their use, however, the effects of their use have yet to be fully assessed., Smartphones, External Microphones, Sound Level Meters, Smartphone Applications, Sound Measurement, Noise
A correlational study of Escherichia Coli concentrations and coastal water temperatures in Metro Vancouver’s routine beach water quality reports from 2016-2022.
The impact of climate change and the resulting more frequent heatwaves severely affect public health, as seen in the record-breaking 2021 Western North America heat wave. The elevated coastal water temperatures caused by rising ambient temperatures are expected to lead to increased recreational water use, which could contribute to higher levels of Recreational Water Illnesses (RWIs) due to the growth of specific pathogens. This study investigates any potential correlation between Escherichia Coli levels and coastal water temperatures in Routine Beach Water Quality reports from Metro Vancouver from 2016-2022. Furthermore, it aims to create a standardized Bathing Water Quality Index (BWQI) to reduce public exposure to pathogens and prepare for future extreme weather events., Escherichia Coli, Climate Change, Coastal Water Temperatures, Recreational Water Illness, Heatwaves, Public Health
Effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on restaurant food safety: trends in hygiene and sanitation related violations.
Restaurants and other food service establishments are of major concern to public health as they can be sources of illnesses and disease outbreaks. Many of the measures that were put forth by public health to reduce COVID-19 transmission, would also have been beneficial to the overall food safety of restaurants. On the contrary, psychological stress, staff shortages and revenue losses may have had a negative impact on food safety practices in restaurants. This study aims to determine if the COVID-19 pandemic had a measurable impact on post-pandemic food safety in restaurants., food safety, restaurants, inspections, hygiene, sanitation, COVID-19
Parents, are you getting your money’s worth at your childcare center?
Historically, mothers were the primary caregiver and were expected to stay at home to care for their child. In today’s society, there is an increasing trend of dual-earner families where both individuals contribute to the household income. This created a demand for childcare services such as preschools, childcare centers, and family daycare homes. Due to the high demand, a majority of parents had difficulty obtaining childcare services and it brought into question whether parents are still able to fully assess each available childcare centers’ quality and cost, or if they are forced to select any center with available space. Additionally, considering its high demand, it’s uncertain whether centers are still providing high quality care at their price points. This study investigated if the cost of childcare at licensed childcare facilities in cities and districts under the jurisdiction of Vancouver Coastal Health (VCH) align with their structural qualities of care., violation, childcare, childcare centre, cost, quality, inspection
Public health risks and external food safety in the Canadian marketplace.
The expansion of the food industry has increased the demand for diverse food products, which poses new challenges to food safety. The production, transportation, and handling of food products from various sources and countries can increase the likelihood of foodborne illness outbreaks and product contamination. Regulatory developments, such as the Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP) systems, have helped mitigate trade barriers and ensure a safe food supply chain. However, different food safety regulations and standards in importing countries can make it challenging to determine if imported goods are as safe as domestically produced ones. Total coliform testing is a commonly used indicator of potential fecal contamination in food products. Thus, this study aims to provide a comparative analysis between a domestic and an international pasteurized dairy product falling under category 3 to provide literature and the means to mitigate safety risks., Dairy, Category 3, Water activity, food safety, total coliforms
Survey of food product labels to assess compliance with labelling provisions in Canada.
Food product labels are a public health tool that guides consumers in making food choices. In December 2016, the Government of Canada amended the Food and Drug Regulations (i.e., nutrition labelling, list of ingredients, and food colour requirements). Health Canada and the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) developed an implementation plan that focused on education and compliance promotion of the new labelling provisions (Canadian Food Inspection Agency, 2022a). This progressive approach allows regulated parties to transition to the new changes gradually. As of December 15, 2021, the former regulations are no longer in effect, and the new labelling requirements apply. This study will survey food labels on products available in the marketplace, regarding the current labelling requirements, and determine whether there is a discrepancy in properly labelled food products between chain versus independent grocery stores of different ethnicity., food labelling compliance, food label, nutritional facts table, pre-packaged food products, grocery stores