The Indiana State Department of Health and the Kentucky Department of Public Health have been awarded the John J. Guzewich Environmental Public Health Team Award for their combined response to the multi-state Salmonella outbreak linked to cantaloupes from Chamberlain Farms in 2012.
Using food questionnaires, epidemiologists in Kentucky and Indiana traced the infections to melons. Kentucky identified melons grown at Chamberlain Farms in Indiana as the source, and Indiana’s food protection program staff visited the farm to investigate the circumstances which promoted the spread of the infections and helped them to take remedial actions.
“We are very proud to receive this prestigious honor,” said Indiana State Health Commissioner William VanNess. “This award highlights the excellent teamwork among the State laboratories, epidemiology division and food protection program. Thanks to the immense amount of coordination internally, as well as with local, state and federal partners, we were able to prevent illness and potentially save lives.”
The Guzewich Award is a new award from the National Environmental Health Association and recognizes local and state health departments for protecting their communities and the national food system from foodborne illness.
The Association of Food and Drug Officials and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration nominated Indiana and Kentucky for the award for being a model for intrastate and interstate collaboration among public health partners at the federal, state and local levels.© Food Safety News