Though local health department performance of restaurant inspections plays an important role in preventing foodborne illness, restaurant inspection quality and uniformity often varies across local health department jurisdictions and among employees. In 2012, the Cincinnati Health Department initiated a food safety staff quality improvement initiative. This initiative, part of a Food and Drug Administration national training standards grant initiative, featured standardized training and food safety workforce practices, defined food safety program data collection standards, and refined reporting protocols. The aim of this article was to explore the relationship between the Ohio food safety code violations incurred and the risk classifications to which a Cincinnati food service operation belongs (ranked I–IV based upon potential threat to public safety). A random intercept model was selected to quantify the difference in odds between risk classification categories of incurring violations. Additionally, longitudinal data analysis tracked violation trends across the three years of the study. Main findings were 1) the odds of receiving a food safety violation increased with each year and 2) food establishments categorized as risk class IV had a higher odds of receiving a food safety violation compared with the other risk classifications.
“Conducting research on a multi-disciplinary team was every bit as exciting and challenging as I had hoped it would be. Having that diversity in the group not only enhanced the resulting manuscript, it required that I learn how to direct and integrate every collaborator’s input into an overarching vision of how the project ought to be progressing. Through the patient guidance of professors around me, I gained valuable experience not merely on how to contribute, but on how to lead,” said Mr. Patrick Chang, alumni.
“Analysis of Food Service Operation Risk Classification and Associated Food Safety Violation Frequency,” was recently published in the Journal of Environmental Health.
Dr. William Mase served as principal investigator on the grant and corresponding author for the manuscript. The Jiann-Ping Hsu College of Public Health faculty research team mentored Mr. Patrick Chang, alumni, as he took the primary leadership role in this analysis of data within the larger study. This interdisciplinary team worked closely with Mr. Chang as he completed his Masters of Public Health in Biostatistics at the Jiann-Ping Hsu College of Public Health Georgia Southern University. Dr. Haresh Rochani, biostatistics, Dr. William A. Mase and Dr. Jeffrey A. Jones, health policy and management, Dr. Asli Aslan, environmental health sciences, co-authored the study.