The DPH EH Section Food Service Program proposes to partner with Georgia?s 18 Public Health District?s Environmental Health offices, DPH Acute Disease Epidemiology Section, DPH EH Section Evaluation Support Program, DPH Office of Workforce Development and Training, DPH EH Section Tourist Accommodation Program, Georgia Department of Agriculture, and the University of Georgia?s Department of Foods and Nutrition Cooperative Extension Service to assess and evaluate training needs, and provide training courses to focus on reduction of risk factors and promote active managerial control of the risk factors for foodborne illness. In 2009, the Georgia Department of Public Health, Environmental Health Section?s management and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Environmental Health used the Environmental Public Health Performance Standards (EnvPHPS) to conduct an assessment of Georgia?s Environmental Health (EH) programs and operations within the framework of the Ten Essential Environmental Health Services. This statewide assessment identified a need for monitoring and evaluation improvements which substantially supported the EH Section?s implementation of a statewide database for collecting, monitoring, and analyzing inspection reports. This database is known as the Environmental Health Information System (EHIS). The EHIS system allows the Food Service Program and other statewide Environmental Health programs to collect electronic inspection report data for the monitoring, assessment, and comparative analysis of risk factor incidence and trends, to evaluate reports for accuracy and consistency, and to generate data to inform policy decisions. The EHIS is a web accessed database that supports the missions of the Georgia's DPH Environmental Health Section offices by providing a central point for collecting, storing, analyzing, and reporting about the work performed in all of the EH services. The EHIS is also supplying data to other State agencies for use in various local projects, including GIS mapping of onsite sewage systems with challenged waterways, well locations for emergency preparedness, and community planning. Currently, the Environmental Health Section?s EHIS system receives inspection report data from 132 counties and 16 additional counties will be added to the system in the near future. The majority of the counties (more than 30%) uses a field client (offline) and synchronizes inspection reports into the system. Inspection report data is obtained from public webpage postings or search portals for counties that are not currently using the system. Using the EHIS system, the EH Section has established a performance metric to track CDC?s top five foodborne illness risk factors.
RFA-FD-15-018 Advance Conformance with the Voluntary National Retail food Regulatory Program Standards Research Strategy Problem: ?The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that each year roughly 1 in 6 Americans (or 48 million people) gets sick, 128,000 are hospitalized, and 3,000 die of foodborne diseases (CDC, 2011). The FDA regards local health agencies as the ?frontline in protecting the public from foodborne illness associated with improper handling of food or poor hygienic practices in food service and food retail operations or at home? by inspecting food service and food retail establishments, providing technical assistance to food facilities, and educating consumers about food safety (FDA, 2009). By working to meet the FDA Retail Program Standards, Georgia can demonstrate that its food program has an effective system for continuous improvement.