The California EHS-Net Food Safety and Water Safety programs will collaborate with both State and local food and water regulatory programs to conduct the following two joint research projects: 1) Food and Water Safety Risk Factors Associated with Mobile Food Vehicles, and 2) An Assessment of California's Local Environmental Health Agencies'Capacities in 2011. Few studies have examined food and water safety risk factors associated with mobile food facilities, such as mobile food preparation vehicle units (MFPUs). The objectives of this study are to collect data on: 1) the quality of potable water on food trucks;2) water sanitation practices of food operators, 3) personal hygiene practices of vehicle food workers, and 4) preparation and holding practices for potentially hazardous foods during times of operation. The purpose of this study is to expand EHS-Net's and California's knowledge regarding a wide-range of potential risk factors related associated with MFPUs ("food trucks"). Knowledge gained will help to identify and reduce risk factors associated with illness, and inform future inspectional and disease prevention efforts for the regulatory community. A number of statewide studies have been conducted prior to 2006 that assessed environmental health capacities, needs and barriers. These studies occurred prior to the onset of the current national recession in 2008. This study will examine current capacities of local California environmental health agencies regarding delivery of core services, and familiarity with and/or implementation of the 10 essential services of environmental health during this era of extreme economic challenges. Where possible, changes in capacities will also be evaluated by comparisons with findings from a previous study conducted in California in 2005. California EHS-Net Water will conduct a water-specific study on the relationship of pool closures to requirements for certified pool operator (CPO) training. Previous studies demonstrate the benefit of CPO certification in preventing recreational water illnesses. The objectives of this study are to collect descriptive data on: 1) county policies on who conducts pool inspections, 2) which counties require CPO certification training;and 3) the relationship between training/certification and pool closures and complaints.
PROJECT NARRATIVE - PART A &B, FOOD &WATER JOINT STUDIES (2) Title: Food and Water Safety Risk Factors Associated with Mobile Food Vehicles The purpose of this study is to expand EHS-Net's and California's knowledge regarding a wide- range of potential risks to public health related to food and water safety associated with mobile food preparation units (MFPUs), or "food trucks". It is expected that the knowledge gained will help to identify and reduce risk factors associated with illness and inform future disease prevention efforts. The findings will also be used to inform future intervention strategies for the food and water safety regulatory community. Title: Assessment of California's Local Environmental Health Agencies'Capacity in 2011 The purpose of this study is to examine current capacities of local California environmental health agencies regarding the delivering of core environmental health functions, as well as their familiarity with/and or implementation of the 10 essential services of environmental health during this era of extreme economic challenges when environmental health agencies are expected to do more with the same or reduced levels of funding. Where possible, changes in capacities will also be evaluated by comparing EHS-Net findings with those of a previous California statewide study conducted in 2005. PROJECT NARRATIVE - PART B, WATER SPECIFIC STUDY Title: Pool Closure and Their Relationship to Certified Pool Operator Certification Requirements Although good pool operation and maintenance can reduce the incidence of waterborne disease in swimming facilities, even the best maintained pools may be associated with outbreaks. California has over 80,000 public swimming pools and California regulations do not require certified operators to manage pools and many counties do not require any type of education for pool operators. This study will evaluate if pool operator education requirements decrease the number of pool closure and complaints per year.