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Food poisoning is a critical provision in the global context. This proposal incorporates an investigation and an intervention plan for a food poisoning incident. Notably, the incidents of food poisoning have been on the rise in the recent past. Statistically, nearly 75,000 people suffered from this infection in the year 2009 (CIEH 2012). Contextually, the proposal provides credible background information that assesses the kind of food poisoning incidents that are related to the Salmonella outbreak, taking into consideration the origin of the organism, its causes as well as its effects. In addition, analysis is done on the part that can be played by other agencies in the investigation of food poisoning. And, finally, a draft of the procedures that can be adopted by the officers and staff of the Council’s Environmental Health Department should such an outbreak occur is prepared. Various kinds of intervention strategies available to the officers as well as their effectiveness in regulating the outbreak of Salmonella food poisoning are taken into consideration while preparing the draft. This forms a comprehensive report in regard to food contamination and salmonella infestation. Should there be an outbreak in the downtown area, the officers and staff of the council’s EHD are obligated to adopt critical draft procedures indicated later. Contextually, the proposed procedure involves five major steps meant to curb the situation (Lund & Hunter 2008, p. 124). These are the preliminary phase, communication, Descriptive Epidemiology, Analysis and interpretation, control measures and the Final Phase.
In 2009, statistic indicates that nearly 75,000 people were victims of food poisoning in England & Wales (CIEH 2012). Even though these could just be distinct cases, the majority of these incidences happen at home. Even though food poisoning is a distinctive and widespread incidence, it still takes place in the country in spite of all the food hygiene regulations available (Arias 2000, p. 159). One of the major kinds of food poisoning is Salmonellosis, which is caused by the Salmonella bacterium. There are several types of these bacteria. The most popular kinds available in the U.S. include Salmonella serotype Typhimurium and Enteritidis. Annually, there are an average of over 70,000 cases of Salmonellosis reported in the U.K. (CIEH 2012). However, this number could be higher considering that minor cases are not identified or even reported.
Salmonellosis is caused by consuming foods that are contaminated with salmonella. This can happen in several ways. Food can get contaminated during the process of processing or handling it (Maskell, & Mastroeni 2006, p. 102). Another common way is when an individual fails to wash his or her hands before handling food, especially after visiting the toilets or washrooms. Salmonella could as well be found in the fecal materials of some pests, particularly those suffering from diarrhea. If an individual comes into contact with these feces and does not wash his or her hands, there could be higher chances of Salmonellosis infection. Reptiles, trivial rodents, hatchlings as well as other animals are potential carriers of Salmonella. Therefore, an individual should ensure to wash his or her hands soon after handling these animals, even though the animal may appear healthy (Wray & Wray-Wray 2000, P. 16). This is a critical provision in the context of food poisoning, safety, and healthy living. During Christening and other celebrations, improper preparation and handling of food materials might create critical food poisoning. Research also indicates that there are also foods that are likely to contain Salmonella. Some of these food substances incorporate chicken, pork, meat, milk, as well as some vegetables. Generally, contaminated foods appear and have a usual scent. To give an example, one of the restaurants that were closed down due to its linkage to the Salmonella outbreak in the year 2008 is the Oldbury eatery. This was one of the greatest outbreaks in which approximately 46 individuals from the West Midlands area were recognized to have contracted Salmonella after eating there. Other examples include Cadburys and Fat Duck Restaurant in the year 2009. In Cadburys case, chocolate that was contaminated with an unusual kind of Salmonella caused an outbreak countrywide.
The most common effects of Salmonellosis comprise fever, diarrhea, and abdominal convulsions. These symptoms are likely to be noticed after approximately 12 to 72 hours upon infection. Generally, the infection lasts four to seven days. Most individuals recuperate with no treatment while others have to get treatment. However, diarrhea and dehydration could be so serious that it is essential to get medical attention. Normally, older people, infants and people with weakened immune systems are highly predisposed. An individual who is only suffering from the bacteria, normally gets well completely, even though it may take some months. Few other infected people develop Reiter’s syndrome. This is an illness that could last for several months or even years and can result in chronic arthritis (Bartlett, Blacklow & Gorbach 2004, p. 92).
There is a question of who should be responsible for regulating an outbreak whenever it occurs. According to Isle (2001, p. 45), an outbreak of foodborne can be defined as two or more related cases (linked by time and/or place) of a similar infection, or when the detected cases of infection exceed the projected number. Eventually, a proper officer employed by the Local authority is responsible for controlling such outbreaks. Nevertheless, at present, the appointment of this officer is conducted by the Consultant in Communicable Disease Control (CCDC) who is working with the Local Health Protection Unit. However, controlling such an outbreak requires a team of various personnel from different agencies. Some of these agencies are the Environmental Health department from the affected Local Authority, members of staff from the major care trusts as well as other experts from the Health Protection Agencies (HPA). In addition, based on the magnitude of the outbreak, the Food Standards Agency (FSA) and the Department of Health (DoH) could as well get involved. The Veterinary Laboratory Agency could also get involved in case an outbreak is a zoonotic disease. This regards the aspects of food poisoning and other provisions related to the public’s safety.
Each of these agencies has a role to play when it comes to controlling an outbreak of foodborne infection. The Health Protection Agency was founded as a special Health Authority (spHA) in the year 2003. Its major role is to provide an incorporated methodology in protecting the UK community health by offering their support and advisory services to the National Health Services (NHS), Local authorities, emergency services, other Arm Length Bodies, DoH as well as Devolved Administrations. Even though it has seven centers or departments, there are only three departments concerned with food poisoning outbreaks. These are centers of infections, Local and Regional Services (LaRS) and Regional Microbiology Networks. The first body an individual is likely to have first contact with whenever there is an outbreak is the Local Health Protection Unit (LHPU), which is under the Local and Regional Services. The LHPU examines and manages the outbreaks of communicable infections. They also offer surveillance of communicable diseases and infections besides supporting the local authorities in their duties specified in the Public Health act of 1984 related to regulations. It is this unit that works closely with other agencies and other experts in the health protection Agency structure to control and handle any outbreak. Since CCDC works with them, they are capable of controlling outbreaks. Actually, they do not simply handle food-borne outbreaks, but also deal with acquired infections and TB amongst others. Primary care trusts major role is commissioning of health care services and provision of health promotion direction and advisory services.
Should there be an outbreak in the downtown area, the officers and staff of the council’s Environmental Health Department should adopt the following draft procedure, which involves five major steps (Lund & Hunter 2008, p. 124). These comprise the preliminary phase, communication, Descriptive Epidemiology, Analysis and interpretation, control measures and the Final Phase. Through rigorous examinations and tests, the preliminary phase involves collecting and evaluating the available info to determine whether the cases show similar symptoms and seem to share mutual exposure factors like consuming certain foods, attending a particular event or visiting certain sites, and directly or indirectly coming into contact with certain animals. During this phase, stakeholders should institute a cautious diagnosis, agree on case definitions and gather necessary specimens. Conducting detailed interviews is also necessary to establish shared factors. On-site investigations on the suspected regions should also be conducted (World Health Organisation 2008, p. 243). Parties involved should launch instant control measures appropriate to the public health hazard. Also, HPA CFI or CDSA Wales and other relevant agencies should be informed in case of a substantial outbreak. Finally, the information collected should be evaluated and analyzed to determine if there is a need for further examination and the duties and responsibilities of relevant partners should be acknowledged (Noah 2006, p. 114). It is critical to understand why prompt and appropriate remedial measures are important during any Salmonella outbreak. This regards the aspects of food poisoning as well as other provisions relating to the safety of the public.
In the communication step, the individual(s) who will take the lead in the media, as well as those who should receive the information of the outbreak, should be identified (Regester, Larkin & Regester 2008). Additionally, the most effective means of communication with all the parties involved should be identified. Information should be disseminated timely with regard to the appropriate legislation such as the Data Protection Act. The media should be used fruitfully and the pertinent materials gathered to provide a final inscribed report for local or broader distribution, where necessary, should be ascertained. Descriptive epidemiology involves drawing up the listing of affected individuals, recognizing people who pose the threat of spreading the outbreak further, establishing a case definition and pinpointing several probable causes. Also, data from affected individuals should be collected on identical questionnaires (Arias 2010, p. 167). This is a critical provision in diverse contexts.
During analysis and interpretation, the department should calculate the rates of infections, ratify features shared by all cases, categorize links by time, region or persons, make the epidemic curve, evaluate all available data, and evaluate initial theories and reflect if there is a need for further epidemiological or microbiological examinations. Supplementary clinical/food specimens might be subjected to laboratory scrutiny. Lastly, the source, as well as the modes of spread, should be ascertained. Control measures include controlling the source of the outbreak, mode of spread and safeguarding individuals at risk. The usefulness of the control methods and surveillance for more outbreaks should also be monitored. The final phase involves simply evaluating an end to the outbreak and producing an outbreak report (Trickett 2001, p. 86). As indicated before, it is imperative to understand why prompt and appropriate remedial measures are important during any Salmonella outbreak.
In conclusion, food poisoning is a widespread occurrence. Under the public health regulations act, which was amended in 1984, RMPs (Risk Management Programmes) should alert the relevant officers in case of an outbreak. The same act confers powers to the local authorities to control the spread of food poisoning. To be able to identify an outbreak, different concerned parties have to analyze information obtained from different sources by the environmental health professionals, Health protection unit or CFI. The legal obligation for controlling outbreaks is bestowed on the proper officers (CCDC). However, to effectively control an outbreak, several agencies such as HPU, LA and PCT plays a significant role. The epidemiological analysis becomes a very beneficial tool in identifying sources of outbreaks. In addition, they can help with any legal measures. Upon completion of investigations, the outbreak control team reports are published. Precisely, Salmonellosis is caused by consuming foods that are contaminated with salmonella. This can happen in several ways. In other contexts, food contamination can occur during processing/handling. The most common effects of Salmonellosis comprise fever, diarrhea, and abdominal convulsions. These symptoms are likely to be noticed after approximately 12 to 72 hours upon infection. Generally, the infection lasts four to seven days. In case of any outbreak in the downtown area, the officers and staff of the council’s EHD should adopt a well-orchestrated remedial procedure, which incorporates 5 major steps.
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