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NACCHO Experts Available for Comment on New Food Safety Guidelines


Contact Becky Wexler
(301) 652-1558

Food Safety Backgrounder Available
What roles do local health departments play in the national food safety system Find out the answer to this and other food safety questions here.
NACCHO Experts Available for Comment on New Food Safety Guidelines
Washington, DC (July 15, 2009)—
On the heels of last week's recommendations made by President Obama's food safety working group, today the Council to Improve Foodborne Outbreak Response (CIFOR) released its Guidelines for Foodborne Disease Outbreak Response. Along with other organizations, the National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO) was instrumental in the development of the guidelines, which will assist local, state, and federal agencies in preventing and managing foodborne disease outbreaks through detection, investigation, control, and prevention.

As we have seen in the past several months, illnesses caused by contaminated peppers, peanut butter, and even cookie dough can quickly cross state lines and become national outbreaks. But the first cases of foodborne illness are often identified and investigated by local health departments. Epidemiologists, environmental health specialists, and other experts in local health departments are on the front lines in these situations, preventing small outbreaks from spreading.

Members of the media covering food safety issues may wish to speak to one of the following local health officials who contributed to the development of the CIFOR guidelines. Both experts can also describe in detail the role that local health departments play in responding to potential outbreaks and provide examples from their own communities.

  • Joseph Russell, MPH, is Health Officer of the Flathead City - County Health Department in Kalispell, Montana, and CIFOR's co-chair. Russell has been at the department since 1987 and has held various positions in environmental health. He holds a B.A. in biology from Carroll College (1981) and an MPH from the University of Washington (1992).
  • Scott E. Holmes MS, REHS, has managed the Environmental Public Health Division Manager at the Lincoln-Lancaster County Health Department in Lincoln, Nebraska, since 1991. Prior to that, he was the department's epidemiologist and worked as a generalist sanitarian for the North Dakota Department of Health.  Holmes holds a B.S. in microbiology and environmental health from Montana State University (1981) and an M.S. in environmental health from the University of Minnesota (1988). He is a NACCHO representative for CIFOR.

Please contact Becky Wexler at bwexler@burnesscommunications.com or (301) 652-1558 to schedule an interview with either of these food safety experts.

About the National Association of County and City Health Officials
NACCHO is the national organization representing the nation's nearly 3,000 local health departments. These agencies work every day on the front lines to protect and promote the health of their communities. NACCHO develops resources and programs and promotes national policies that support effective local public health practice.