CIEH awarded FSA project to examine food hygiene practices in the home

Publication Date: 23rd March 2016

Subject: Food safety

The Chartered Institute of Environmental Health (CIEH) has been commissioned by the Food Standards Agency (FSA) to undertake a review to establish the proportion of UK foodborne disease associated with food preparation and practices in the home. 

Working with academics from the University of Surrey, researchers from the CIEH will seek to discover how the number of cases of foodborne disease caused by faults in the home compares with those caused by eating food prepared and consumed outside, such as from restaurants and takeaway premises.

Traditionally commercial food operations have been the main focus of attention for environmental health departments around the country.

The domestic kitchen has also been recognised as an environment where people are at risk of contracting foodborne illnesses. However, there has been less attention paid to researching the extent to which poor standards of food preparation and handling contribute to making people ill.

The project will see the CIEH work closely with academic partners on a systematic review of existing literature, as well as facilitating workshops with groups of specialists drawn from different fields.

Throughout the project, the team will benefit from the input of a Steering Group of experts, including epidemiologists and social scientists and representatives drawn from the food industry.

The results are expected to be reported in the summer of 2017 and may have important implications for improving food safety in the home.

PennyBramwell, Director of Science, Evidence and Research at the FSA said: “The FSA has previously published research which estimates the overall burden of foodborne disease in the UK and also by pathogen and food type.

“However, we currently do not know the proportion of foodborne disease which occurs in the home as opposed to eating out. This study is attempting to address this key question.”

Frank Post, CIEH’s Executive Director of Commercial Services, said: “This is an important project given that is being undertaken on behalf of one of our key strategic partners, the FSA. 

“We hope to be able to establish the extent to which the home poses a threat to our health and along the way unearth some valuable insights into poor hygiene practices that go on there.”

If you are in a position to share any information with the project team, please contact Dr Chris Day: c.day@cieh.org or 020 7827 6380. 

ENDS 

Notes to editors   

For further information on the CIEH and to request interviews, contact Steven Fifer: s.fifer@cieh.org; 020 7827 5922.  

Further information on the review on the FSA website: http://www.food.gov.uk/science/research/ssres/crosscutss/systematic-review-of-the-relative-proportion-of-foodborne-disease-caused-by-faults-in-food-preparation-or-handling-within-the-home 

Project Team   

The Project Team comprises Dr Anita Eves and Professor Monique Raats of the University of Surrey, and Dr Chris Day and Mrs Jenny Morris MBE of the CIEH, with Mr Jason McLaughlin, also of the CIEH, providing project management.  

About the Chartered Institute of Environmental Health (CIEH):      

The CIEH is the professional voice for environmental health representing over 9,000 members working in the public, private and non-profit sectors. It ensures the highest standards of professional competence in its members, in the belief that through environmental health action people's health can be improved.  

Environmental health has an important and unique contribution to make to improving public health and reducing health inequalities. The CIEH campaigns to ensure that government policy addresses the needs of communities and business in achieving and maintaining improvements to health and health protection.   

The CIEH is a leading provider of regulated qualifications and operates in over 50 countries.  

For more information visit www.cieh.org and follow the CIEH on Twitter @The_CIEH 

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