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Technology Expansion Across Central Utah Program (TEACUP)

Investigators
Bondurant, Philip
Institutions
Central Utah Public Health Department
Start date
2013
End date
2014
Objective

The jurisdictional boundaries of the Central Utah Public Health Department (CUPHD) stretch more than17,000 square miles throughout the center of Utah. It is the second largest geographical health department in the state and the only health department to cover 6 counties. With boundaries this big, logistical challenges come with the territory and Environmental Health (EH) is no exception. With regulatory inspector?s spread across thousands of square miles, sharing information and providing managerial oversight is a challenge. The implementation of the 'Technological Expansion Across Central Utah Program' (TEACUP) will resolve known shortfalls through the use of technology by linking 8 satellite offices across the 6 counties served. Arecent self-assessment conducted by the CUPHD- EH Division, in cooperation with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Voluntary National Retail Food Regulatory Program Standards, illustrated significant disadvantages to the CUPHD caused by the lack of available information, reporting abilities, and managerial review of completed work. This news troubles EH staff in the evolving world of Public Health. To achieve the goals of the CUPHD, EH will purchase, execute, and maintain information management software capable of meeting the demands of the CUPHD. This software will allow the CUPHD the opportunity to utilize current technology to store, report, and analyze information specific to food establishments and possible related food borne illnesses. The tools offered through most database systems are non-existent in the current operations of CUPHD. The ability to actively search permits, provide 'on-demand' reporting for food borne illness outbreaks, and track and compile information regarding complaints is nearly impossible for CUPHD staff due to the logistics of searching files that are kept in specific offices with no means of electronic storage. It is believed the implementation of such a system will not only improve the abilities of CUPHD-EHD, but also improve the working relationship with the Utah Department of Health and the Food and Drug Administration in the fight to protect the health of rural Utah. The use of this information will initiate the movement towards a risk based inspection program as recommended by the FDA Regulatory Standards. Additionally, inspectors will be able to identify trends in demerits among the food service community, allowing them to pinpoint common mistakes and work to educate establishments. The benefits of TEACUP will be seen immediately and will continue long after the successful completion of the grant period. The implementation of the program will build upon existing programs and link the CUPHD to the integrated national food safety program sponsored by the FDA for the coming future.

Funding Source
Food and Drug Administration
Project source
View this project
Project number
1R18FD004936-01
Categories
Legislation and Regulations
Parasites
Natural Toxins
Viruses and Prions
Bacterial Pathogens
Chemical Contaminants
Antimicrobial Resistance