By Staff Reports
(Victor Valley)– An innovative program to assist restaurants and other food facilities in reducing health violations in San Bernardino County was recognized by the National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO).
The Health Education Liaison Program, which was implemented in 2012, was one of 19 programs nationwide and the only program in California to receive NACCHO’s prestigious Model Practice Award.
The Department of Public Health’s Division of Environmental Health Sciences (DEHS) developed the program because critical violations, if left uncorrected, can directly contribute to foodborne illness, posing significant risks to public health and safety.
“Our goal is to help businesses in our county be successful, while also protecting public health,” said Division Chief Corwin Porter. “This award is a great honor and evidence of our commitment to delivering high-quality services to residents of San Bernardino County.”
As part of HELP, low-scoring food facilities are offered a focused one-on-one consultation with an experienced Registered Environmental Health Specialist. During the consultation, the HELP consultant makes recommendations that are tailored to meet the needs of each food facility. A final report is sent to the facility addressing any areas of concern and recommendations to maintain long-lasting results and compliance. HELP is also offered to new facilities wanting to understand health and safety regulations.
The Board of Supervisors acknowledged DEHS for winning the award at a special presentation on Aug. 11.
“This award is in recognition of the working partnerships between Environmental Health Services and food facilities throughout San Bernardino County”, said Board of Supervisors Chairman James Ramos.
HELP is now part of NACCHO’s online, publicly-accessible database of innovative best practices across a broad range of public health areas.
The services offered by DEHS are in line with the Countywide Vision to protect the health and safety of residents and visitors. Information on the Countywide Vision, Job Statement, and Paradigm can be found at www.sbcounty.gov/vision. To learn more about HELP and other DEHS services, please visit our web page at www.sbcounty.gov/dph/dehs or contact us at (800)442-2283.