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Where Are They Now? An Update on Idaho’s South Central Public Health District

In part two of a five-part We Are Public Health series update, Idaho’s South Central Public Health District talks about their continued efforts on food safety education. As part of our 25th Anniversary, we are recognizing the excellent work of our partners.
Where Are They Now? An Update on Idaho’s South Central Public Health District

In 2015, South Central Public Health District’s online training continues to be used by food handlers to prevent foodborne illnesses.

In part two of a five-part We Are Public Health series update, Idaho’s South Central Public Health District talks about their continued efforts on food safety education. As part of our 25th Anniversary, we are recognizing the excellent work of our partners.

July 29, 2015

In November 2012, the We Are Public Health series featured Idaho’s South Central Public Health District and how they used education to prevent foodborne illnesses at farmers markets. Over the course of ten years, the number of farmers markets doubled in the area, making it possible for more people to access fresh, locally produced food. However, from a food inspection standpoint, these markets are complex, ever-shifting environments with constantly changing products and vendors.

To keep up with the rapidly growing number of farmers markets, Idaho’s South Central Public Health District collaborated with state and local partners to design online training resources to help farmers know how to prevent foodborne illness.

Through a 2012 grant from National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO)’s Mentorship Program, the organization and its partners from the University of Idaho extension office were able to design presentations for a one-day workshop for farmers. At the end of the workshop, participants could take a test to see if they retained what they learned during the workshop. The presentations, the test, and other related materials were then posted online.

We Are Public Health 2012-11

The November 2012 We Are Public Health postcard, featuring Idaho’s South Central Public Health District.

Where Are They Now?
South Central Public Health District’s online training course and exam continues to be used by food handlers across Idaho as well as out of state. In 2013, their project was recognized with the Model Practice Award from NACCHO. When asked what lessons have been learned along the way, Melody Bowyer, Environmental Health Director for the district, says that “collaboration with farmers market managers is the key to improving food safety at the markets.”

As a result of this work, the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare’s website now has a link to the district’s farmers market food safety webpage. The organization is currently working with the State to address cottage food safety issues and provide educational resources to food vendors.

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