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News and Features

This page provides links to this year’s EHS spotlight and news articles.

Quick links to past EHS spotlight and news articles by year:
2013, 2012, 2011, 2010, 2009, 2008, 2007, 2006, 2005, 2004, 2003, 2002, 2001.

2014 News Items

Spotlight Features

The First Edition of the Model Aquatic Health Code Is Now Available: What’s Next? [PDF - 707 KB] – Authors Jason Kunz and Michael Beach describe the expected implementation impact of the Model Aquatic Health Code and the plan for keeping the code current and relevant.

Restaurant Manager and Worker Food Safety Certification and Knowledge - Article includes quantitative data on restaurants’ food cooling processes and practices such as whether cooling processes are tested and proven to be safe; temperature monitoring practices; refrigeration cooling practices, and cooling food temperatures.

Summer Internship with Environmental Health Services – Applications are now being accepted for a 10-week summer environmental internship for students majoring in Environmental Health. Interns gain environmental health experience and an understanding of environmental health work at the local, state, tribal, and federal levels. Application deadline: February 11, 2015.

Applying a General Best Practices Identification Framework to Environmental Health. [PDF - 260 KB] – Guest columnist Chris Kochtitzky discusses how a general best practices framework (that weighs public health impact and quality of evidence) can be applied to environmental health.

Irrigation Water Issues Potentially Related to 2006 Multistate E. coli Outbreak on Spinach – In 2006, a restaurant chain received spinach contaminated with E. coli, which made many people ill. Environmental health investigators traced the spinach back to one farm’s irrigation system.

Vector Control Program Performance Improvement – Information about CDC funding to support performance assessment and improvement at vector control programs provided by state, tribal, local, and territorial public health departments.

Building Environmental Public Health Framework for Chemical Emergencies. [PDF - 211 KB] – Guest author Danielle S. Mills highlights a variety of current concerns, opportunities, challenges, and successes related to emergency preparedness in the environmental health field.

Hear from EHS’ Martin Kalis and Rob Blake and others about how the food industry can best prepare for the next natural disaster before it strikes in Lessons Learned: Food Safety Preparedness before the Next Natural Disaster.

September Is National Food Safety Education Month – Links to EHS and CDC resources for environmental health practitioners related to foodborne illness and food safety.

SepticSmart Week Is September 22-26, 2014 – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) SepticSmart initiative is a nationwide public education effort to tell homeowners about the importance of properly maintaining their septic systems. Visit the EPA SepticSmart webpage for tools to help promote homeowner education and awareness.

First edition of the Model Aquatic Health Code (MAHC) – The first edition of the MAHC launched August 29, 2014. States and localities can use the MAHC to make swimming and other water activities healthier and safer. Check out the MAHC code; the annex with scientific explanations; and materials including the MAHC fact sheet, infographic, and web button.

Private Wells and Other Unregulated Drinking Water Systems—Improving State and Local Capacity to Manage Risks – Information about CDC funding to 11 recipients to count and gather data on private wells and other drinking water systems not regulated under the Safe Drinking Water Act.

Tools to Improve Raw Chicken Handling at Restaurants: Report From San Mateo County, California. [PDF - 486 KB] – Guest author Emmy S. Myszka describes a training kit detailing how to handle raw chicken in restaurants to prevent cross-contamination.

New Blog on Integrated Pest Management – Vince Radke talks about EHS’ integrated pest management program. EHS works with state and county health officials to control pests in restaurants. Information these officials learn through EHS’ programs is typically passed on to others in the restaurant industry.

Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever Rodeo Project – In 2012, CDC began working in Arizona to control Rocky Mountain spotted fever after an outbreak of the vectorborne disease. CDC’s National Center for Emerging and Zoonotic Infectious Diseases led the overall agency response, and EHS helped develop and implement an integrated pest management system to control the disease-transmitting ticks that were spread by the community dogs.

Contributions to Enhancing the Public Health Perspective on Onsite Wastewater Management. [PDF – 302 KB] – Max Zarate-Bermudez describes a study to determine the rate of contaminants from conventional onsite wastewater systems in a coastal setting. 

Recreational Water Illness and Injury Prevention Week 2014 - The week before the start of the summer swim season is Recreational Water Illness and Injury (RWII) Prevention Week (May 19–25, 2014). Each year, RWII Prevention Week focuses on simple steps swimmers and pool operators can take to help ensure a healthy and safe swimming experience for everyone. Visit the RWII Prevention Week 2014 page to access materials for the public and for public health professionals.

Update on the Model Aquatic Health Code. [PDF - 452 KB] – Author Rob Blake discusses the proposed operational guidelines for the Model Aquatic Health Code (MAHC) and progress to date. 

CDC’s New Environmental Health Tools to Improve Food Safety – Information on new training and new surveillance system to advance the use of environmental assessments during foodborne illness outbreak investigations.

Flood Safety Awareness Week 2014 – Links to EHS and CDC resources for environmental health practitioners related to flood safety and response.

Groundwater: Resources for EH Practitioners – Links to EHS, CDC, and other resources for environmental health practitioners related to groundwater.

Food Safety Tools and Products for Environmental Health Practitioners. [PDF – 3.2 MB] – Sarah Merkle discusses CDC’s new surveillance system that can help prevent outbreaks, an overview of four EHS-Net articles recently published in the Journal of Food Protection, and a new e-Learning course on environmental assessment of foodborne illness outbreaks. This article is published in the March 2014 issue of the Journal of Environmental Health.

Revised Pool Code Modules Available – Revised modules on Facility Design and Construction, Disinfection and Water Quality, and Regulatory Guidelines have been revised and reposted after the first public comment period. The Model Aquatic Health Code (MAHC) is a collaborative effort of public health, academia, and industry working to protect individuals, families, and communities from preventable waterborne diseases and injuries through evidence-based guidance.

Training Course: Biology and Control of Vectors and Public Health Pests – EHSB offers its popular course, Biology and Control of Vectors and Public Health Pests: The Importance of Integrated Pest Management at NCEH on February 11–13, 2014. The workshop is available to CDC personnel along with state and local environmental health professionals throughout Georgia.

EHS-Net Food Safety Articles – Links to four new publications on restaurant food handling practices that have been linked with foodborne illness outbreaks in restaurant settings.

Earlier news items are available on the News and Features Archive page.

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