Online Program

Merging public health and food safety awareness using a mobile application

Monday, November 4, 2013

Rahul Gupta, MD, MPH, FACP, Commisioner's Office, West Virginia Bureau for Public Health, Charleston, WV
Nasandra Wright, MPH, RS, Environmental Health, Kanawha-Charleston Health Department, Charleston, WV
CDC estimates that each year roughly 1 in 6 Americans (or 48 million people) get sick, 128,000 are hospitalized, and 3,000 die of foodborne diseases. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration proposed an oversight approach for mobile medical software applications (apps) designed for smart phones indicating readiness to the future of public health performance and regulation. As more Americans are eating out, education of these individuals will go a long way in both providing nutritional and food safety information to curtail foodborne illnesses as well as obesity. The Kanawha-Charleston Health Department developed and implemented a ‘Food App' that enables individuals to download information on most recent restaurant inspections as well as other health inspection details such as recommended individual daily food calories based on menus. Another feature includes recommendations on physical activity, maintaining a healthy lifestyle, and how to calculate and burn the calories. Individuals are also provided geographic information on where and what restaurants are available as well as their hours of operation. Other features include an anonymous health violation reporting mechanism, a hotline, survey instruments to rank the best or most compliant restaurants, and a link to the CDC or National Institutes of Health websites. In conclusion, by developing a user friendly Food App with high functionality and a universal platform support system, we are able to demonstrate how public health departments can play a greater role in the food safety and nutrition of our residents.

Learning Areas:

Environmental health sciences

Learning Objectives:
Identify and publicize characteristics of Food Facility inspections associated with better food safety outcomes using a Mobile Application. Design a multifaceted mobile application to provide real time information regarding food establishments and food nutrition.

Keyword(s): Food and Nutrition, Environmental Health

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: Sanitarian supervisor for the Environmental Health division at Kanawha-Charleston health department located in the state of West Virginia.
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.