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Countdown to the 2012 Olympic Games

Publication Date: 8th February 2012

Subject: Public health

Press release

Gulf athletes and visitors heading to London this summer will enjoy one of the safest and most rewarding Olympic Games, claims leading global health body.

Environmental health will be critical to the success of the 2012 Olympic Games, according to Graham Jukes, Chief Executive of the Chartered Institute of Environmental Health (CIEH). As the countdown continues to the 2012 Olympic Games, the CIEH is playing a central role in ensuring the public safety of more than half a million visitors and fifteen thousand athletes, who will together make this event one of the largest mass gatherings of people on the planet.

As the UK’s leading provider of food safety training and the professional body for food inspectors, the CIEH will play a pivotal role in ensuring the safety of the estimated 14 million meals served at the 40 Olympic venues. According to the UK’s Food Standards Agency, the number of people to feed, and the amount of food required to feed them, will make the 2012 Olympic Games the largest peace time catering operation in the world.

As a leading environmental health body with a dynamic global business and a diverse and international membership body, the CIEH is unique in being able to provide such a multi-faceted tapestry of ‘public health’ expertise and experience to government, businesses and the public.

In the UK its members, environmental health practitioners (EHPs), regularly provide the public health protection services for big events such as the FA Cup, the Commonwealth Games, music festivals and Royal Ascot.

At these events, EHPs are responsible for ensuring food safety and hygiene, maintaining noise control, planning for emergencies and conducting risk assessments. However, these events will be dwarfed by the sheer size and magnitude of the 2012 Olympic Games both in terms of the expected number of visitors and the duration of the event (four weeks).

In addition to the Olympic venues, other key environmental health targets will include training camps, non-sporting venues, cultural Olympiad events, Live Sites, regional and local visitor attractions. 

Commenting, Graham Jukes, said:

“Ensuring public safety will be a huge challenge and a team effort across all the public health services will be needed.

“While the involvement of our members is widely recognised and appreciated, the CIEH’s extensive range of accredited training qualifications in food safety and health and safety will be instrumental in ensuring that thousands of the people working in hospitality, catering and health and safety at the 2012 Olympic Games will be working to the highest standards of public and environmental health standards.”

These comments follow the appointment of the CIEH’s principal policy officer, Jenny Morris, to a senior level position responsible for food safety during the 2012 London Olympics, which Graham Jukes says, is testament to the reputation and credibility of the CIEH, its members and its training qualifications.

The CIEH’s partnership working with business is also perfectly illustrated in its relationship with international catering giant SODEXO, which will be responsible for managing the catering at key venues at the 2012 Olympic Games. SODEXO has chosen the CIEH to help design and develop a training programme for its staff.

As far back as 2005, says Graham Jukes, when London was first awarded the Games, the CIEH embarked on a major campaign to provide the support its members and businesses needed to make a positive contribution to the event.

The organisation has produced a comprehensive range of guidance and publications and organised training to help EHPs, businesses and the public prepare and plan for the Games.

Due to the enormous size of the London Games, the CIEH has forged a very close relationship with the London host boroughs to launch and develop an environmental health volunteer programme. The programme aims to pool together additional environmental health expertise and knowledge to support the games before, during and after the Games.

The environmental health volunteer programme will be coordinated by the CIEH and provide additional capacity for Games oganisers and local authorities to respond to the intensity of public attention.

Continuing, Graham Jukes, said:

“The CIEH’s aim has always been to leverage our ‘know-how’ and experience to ensure the safest Olympics for the athletes, for visitors and for the thousands working at the Olympic venues.

“We have been working hard with our partners across the regulatory and business services to ensure that we have a robust, rigorous and coordinated approach to environmental health protection for the Olympics

An ambitious environmental health body with a dynamic vision for growth, the CIEH’s future plans include increasing its global market share for its portfolio of public and environmental health qualifications. The organisation operates in over 23 countries including China, the USA and across the Middle East. Over 10 million people around the world hold a coveted CIEH qualification.

Its customer-base is diverse and includes everything from small businesses to international conglomerates like McDonalds, the Intercontinental Hotels Group as well as governmental bodies in Middle East and, China and international agencies like the United Nations and the World Health Organisation.

Notes to Editors

About the CIEH

  • The Chartered Institute of Environmental Health (CIEH) is a leading provider of accredited qualifications in health and safety, food safety, environmental protection, fire safety and first aid and operates in 23 countries. Over 8 million people around the world from the UK to the USA and the Middle East hold a CIEH qualification
  • The CIEH’s 50 qualification training programmes are delivered through a network of over 10,000 registered trainers. The training is developed for the varied skill levels within organisations. They cater to different learning styles and preferences through a series of flexible structures. CIEH qualifications are OFQUAL (formerly QCA) accredited and are valued and recognised throughout the world
  • The CIEH is the professional voice for environmental health representing over 10,000 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
  • For more information about the CIEH visit www.cieh.org
  • For CIEH media enquiries, please contact Andrew Hamadanian on 020 7827 5922 or 07944 262 100