211416 Achieving the National Environmental Public Health Performance Standards for Special Event Operations

Wednesday, November 11, 2009: 12:30 PM

Palak Raval-Nelson, PhD, MPH , Office of Food Protection, Philadelphia Department of Public Health, Philadelphia, PA
The City of Philadelphia has many outdoor festivals and parades throughout the spring, summer, and fall months. These festivals and parades are categorized as Special Events and, in order to sell or give away food to the public, individuals and/or groups must meet certain requirements and the appropriate application forms must be satisfactorily completed for each foodservice location. On average, there are approximately 450 events a year, with up to 20 food vendors per event. In order to review and inspect all of these operations, a great deal of resources were required from the Office of Food Protection (OFP). Despite the allocation of additional resources, the level of compliance was barely 25% in 2006.

Understanding the associated risk for foodborne illness associated with temporary food establishments and armed with knowledge from the CDC's Leadership Institute, the OFP began utilizing the 10 Essentials of Environmental Health and implementing the national Environmental Public Health Standards. By monitoring and evaluating the problems associated with these events, the OFP was able to develop educational presentations and reach out to the regulated community to understand their perspective to achieve greater compliance. The existing polices were revised, meetings were held with key stakeholders, including other City Departments, and with feedback from everyone; the Special Event program has improved. Based on the evaluation from last year, the OFP achieved over 85% compliance.

Learning Objectives:
Demonstrate how to practically apply the standards in their local jurisdictions.

Keywords: Public Health, Environmental Health

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am the Chief of Food Protection responsible for the program that I will be presenting.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.