Health Department Hosts Food Operators Expo | Celebrates National Public Health Week
BREWSTER, NY— National Public Health Week (NPHW), celebrated April 1-7, honors public health partners across the county for coming together to build healthier communities. A fundamental aspect of keeping a community healthy is the prevention of food-borne illnesses. The Putnam County Department of Health (PCDOH) is working across sectors and hosting the 13th annual Food Operators Expo on April 23 at the Putnam County Golf Course from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.
“Collaboration is key— that is why the health department works with partners to offer relevant training for food industry professionals. Just as your doctor is a major player when it comes to your health, public health workers are often working behind the scenes to prevent illness, disease and injuries,” says County Executive MaryEllen Odell, who had previously declared this year “The year of the health provider.”
PCDOH staff are continually involved in training professionals in the community on an array of health and safety topics. “To keep our community healthy, we must start new conversations about familiar topics,” says Health Commissioner Michael J. Nesheiwat, MD. “Food-borne illnesses, communicable diseases, chronic health challenges. These are not new issues, but we absolutely must take an innovative approach when it comes to prevention. We are out working with food operators, camp operators, as well as an array of healthcare providers to do just that.”
Restaurant inspectors from PCDOH not only provide ongoing training in safe food handling practices, they are also among the presenters at the Food Operators Expo. This year, the theme is “Educating Those Who Feed Us,” and the day will include a variety of seminar presentations by both public health and restaurant industry leaders, with an emphasis on best practices. Dr. Nesheiwat also will be speaking on the topic of dietary sodium, as well as leading a discussion on the medical and legal issues related to food allergies.
“Opportunities for health promotion exist in every corner of our lives,” said Dr. Nesheiwat. “We will be hosting an expansive vendor showcase, designed with the food industry professional in mind.” He encourages food industry professionals to build upon their knowledge and network with one another. Chefs, restaurant owners, managers and food service personnel are encouraged to attend this free event. For more information, or to register to attend the Food Operators Expo, visit www.putnamcountyny.com/FoodOpsExpo/.
The Health Department’s mission is to improve and protect the health of the Putnam County community, composed of nearly 100,000 residents. Core services include community health assessment, disease surveillance and control, emergency preparedness, environmental health protection, family health promotion and health education. For more information, please visit the PCDOH website at www.putnamcountyny.com/health or visit the social media sites on Facebook at www.facebook.com/putnamhealth and Twitter @PutnamHealthNY.