With food safety – and product recalls – making headlines almost every day, we are reminded that health departments throughout the country are tasked with keeping their communities healthy not only from infectious disease, but foodborne illnesses, as well. The National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO), representing nearly 3,000 local governmental health departments, is now accepting nominations for the 2019 Samuel J. Crumbine Consumer Protection Award for Excellence in Food Protection at the Local Level. This award is given annually to local environmental health jurisdictions that demonstrate unsurpassed achievement in providing outstanding food protection services to their communities and highlight successful approaches to food safety that can be replicated in other communities.
Named for one of America’s most renowned health officers and health educators, Samuel J. Crumbine, M.D. (1862-1954), the award encourages innovative programs and methods that reduce or eliminate the occurrence of foodborne illnesses, recognizes the importance of food protection at the local level, and stimulates public interest in foodservice sanitation. Promoting food safety and foodborne illness prevention and detection are core functions of the public health system.
Eligibility. Local government organizations with the responsibility for food protection in the United States and Canada are eligible to apply for the award. These are understood to be departments or agencies that have the legal responsibility to protect the health of consumers in a county, district, city, town, township or like jurisdiction. In addition, U.S. Uniformed Services and U.S. Indian Health Service area programs are invited to apply, if they conduct a local food program. State, provincial, institutional, industry, and private programs are not eligible, and past award winners may apply five years after winning the award.
Selection Criteria. The basic criteria of an award-winning program are:
- Sustained excellence over the preceding four to six years, as documented by specific outcomes and achievements, and evidenced by continual improvements in the basic components of a comprehensive program;
- Demonstrated improvements in planning, managing, and evaluating a comprehensive program;
- Innovative and effective use of program methods and problem solving to identify and reduce risk factors that are known to cause foodborne illness; and
- Providing targeted outreach, forming partnerships, and participating in forums that foster communication and information exchange among the regulators, industry, and consumer representatives.
All local environmental health jurisdictions meeting these basic criteria are encouraged to apply, regardless of size and resources. To apply, applicants should download the guidelines, which may be found here. The deadline to submit entries for the 2019 award is March 15, 2019.
The Crumbine Award is supported by the Conference for Food Protection in cooperation with the American Academy of Sanitarians, American Public Health Association, Association of Food & Drug Officials, Foodservice Packaging Institute, International Association for Food Protection, National Environmental Health Association, NSF International, and NACCHO.