U.S – The United States Kentucky State has launched a new website where Kentuckians can easily report foodborne issues, enabling a speedier response to outbreaks.
Prior to the website, district or municipal health agencies were contacted via phone to report cases of foodborne disease.
Consumers may report issues quickly and easily thanks to the new website.
Additionally, it makes it easier for state public health officials to get the essential data, enabling them to take faster action to stop others from getting sick.
“Protecting the health and safety of our Kentucky families is my top priority. With this new service, we will improve our ability to quickly help Kentuckians receive, analyze and respond to foodborne illness reports and identify foodborne outbreaks and prevent others from getting sick,” Andy Beshear, Kentucky Governor.
The newly launched food safety reporting website offers the first-ever integrated method for data gathering on foodborne illnesses in the state.
The number of sick persons, the nature and severity of their symptoms, the onset and duration of their diseases, if new cases are occurring, what people ate, and how many people were exposed are the factors that local health departments use to determine whether an inquiry is necessary.
If needed, laboratory testing is done at the health department or the clinical provider’s office to determine the pathogen that made them sick.
The health department may also visit a food establishment or store suspected to be linked to the food that caused the illness if required.
“The goal with this new food safety reporting site is to quickly get information from consumers, which will help to prevent others from becoming sick,” said Eric Friedlander, Secretary of the Cabinet for Health and Family Services.
According to Agency for Public Health (DPH) Commissioner Dr. Steven Stack, consumers can still call their regional health department to express concerns about the safety of their food.
In addition to being a source of information about foodborne illness, the website provides an online form for collecting location information and the probable illness source.
When an online form is submitted, the platform notifies the relevant local health department and the DPH Food Safety Branch for further action.
To lessen the impact, a multiagency reaction team may be activated as needed.
A grant from the Food Protection Task Force and a special projects grant will fund an awareness campaign.
“We want to avoid situations where rapid response is needed, but should that be the case, DPH, including the state lab and local health departments, stand ready to respond with the Kentucky Department of Agriculture, the Food and Drug Administration and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services,” Dr. Stack said.
The three-month campaign targets all 120 Kentucky counties with a focus on digital communication – social media, search engine optimization and display ads – to elevate awareness.