Celebrating World Environmental Health Day: finding my place in food safety

29 September 2023, Diana Turmova MSc CEnvH MCIEH DipNEBOSH GradIOSH, Food Safety Officer, London

The five pillars of Environmental Health

For World Environmental Health Day 2023, we invited members to share their experiences of working in environmental health and what it means to protect public health.

Working in food safety

I was working in food retail when I first encountered an EHO and a series of thorough external brand food safety audits. It was then I learnt more about the profession and knew it was a path I would love to take. Moving into the profession of environmental health as a mature candidate, I still had the freedom to progress even though it was not my first career choice, and I never thought then that some 10 years later I would reach my dream.

As someone who works as a Food Safety Officer in London, I can say with certainty that environmental health is one of the best career choices out there. Food safety officers help food businesses to understand and achieve compliance with regulations. It's a satisfying feeling to know that your efforts contribute to promoting safe food practices, protecting public health and reducing the risk of foodborne illness outbreaks. By working together with food businesses, food safety officers can make a difference in the industry and ensure that consumers can trust the food they eat. There is not a dull day in environmental health.

My work in environmental health isn’t a nine to five job. It’s a way of working, thinking and living, and in my view, being a people person and having a genuine passion for the work are fundamental prerequisites for dedicating yourself to the community.

Finding the right career

You can embark on the career of your dreams, but it can come with costs, many of which can’t be measured by money (time, effort, personal sacrifices, commitment and investment). It’s not always easy to find the right career path, and the first step is probably the most daunting. There are often so many choices and requirements that need to be fulfilled that it can feel like an impossible task.

However, in my experience, I found that academic institutions and CIEH went a long way to make it easier for candidates to understand their options and choose a path which is the right one for them. I realised how many people sincerely want me to progress, advance and succeed - thank you to all those individuals who believed in me.

If you would like to learn more about environmental health and becoming an EHP, visit our What is EH? webpage or if you would like to write a blog about your EH experience, please email [email protected].

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