The aim of the project is to utilize technology to improve the quality of food safety in Boone County, MO. By Implementing an electronic food inspection system as well as a computer based food handler education program offered audio and visual in English, Spanish and Mandarin Chinese the occurrence of critical violations cited should decrease, efficiency of staff time at the Columbia Boone County Department of Public Health and Human Services (CBCDPHHS) will increase and Environmental Health staff can use technology to improve inspection uniformity and risk based inspections. The long term objectives are to incorporate the use of technology to collect demographic data of food service workers to identify other populations of foreign language speaking food service workers, improve inspection frequency, the occurrence of critical violation citations and the links among these factors on food safety in Boone County, MO. The CBCDPHHS mission is to promote and protect the health, safety and well-being of the community through leadership and service. Food safety is an important factor in protecting the health of a community. Education plays a key role in the prevention of foodborne illness and food safety. Expanding food service worker education to foreign language speaking employees is vital to the quality of food safety as well as the occurrence of critical violations and risk factors. Technology can enhance the performance of the Environmental Health staff to achieve the mission of the CBCDPHHS. The method to achieve the goal of the project are basic. Purchase and implement an electronic inspection system, develop computer based food handler education in audio and visual for Spanish and Mandarin Chinese speaking food service workers, purchase and use a scantron machine for use in food handler classes held monthly by the department to collect demographic data and improve test grading time, identify food service workers immediately that need more education and find populations of food service workers that were not previously identified by use of demographic data collection from the scantron food handler test answer sheets. These goals will be achieved through data examination of pre electronic inspection system inspections and post electronic inspection system inspections comparing inspection frequency, occurrence of critical violations, corrective action and attendance of foreign language speaking food service workers.

Public Health Relevance

Food safety education, inspection frequency and critical violation citations all correlate to the prevalence of foodborne illness. It is known that humans must eat to sustain, by improving the aforementioned, the overall health of consumers is improved.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
Food and Drug Administration (FDA)
Research Demonstration--Cooperative Agreements (U18)
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Special Emphasis Panel (ZFD1)
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City of Columbia
United States
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