Environmental Public Health Week 2014 - Day 1
The Role of the Public Health Inspector/Environmental Health Officer
Did you know?
The role of a PHI/EHO is extremely diverse. Many PHIs/EHOs are busy every day promoting, protecting and educating the public on public health matters in Ontario. Many of their duties include but are not limited to inspection, monitoring, enforcing and educating the public in the following areas:
- Communicable and infectious diseases.
- Food Safety. Through restaurants and other food facility inspections and provision of food handler training courses.
- Environmental Health.
In Ontario, the PHI/EHO enforces the Health Protection and Promotion Act and its regulations. The PHI/EHO must regularly refresh their knowledge and skills to keep up with the demand of an always changing environment or situation ensuring the protection of the public.
As Environmental Public Health Professionals, in Ontario and across Canada we perform work that ensures:
- The public has a safe and wholesome food supply and is protected from any unsafe sources.
- When a food recall, Boil Water Advisory or Drinking Water Advisory event occurs the problem is identified, reported to the public and corrective actions taken.
- Where the public is exposed to a food-borne disease, the EPHP must act to minimize the possible effects on the public.
What can you do?
During Environmental Public Health Week; we need to recognize and be thankful for the hard work of the Public Health Inspector and other Environmental Public Health Professionals. Why not take the time to do one of the following things:
- Obtain a copy of the Ontario Public Health Standards and become familiarized with the many aspects of public health.
- Web search for one of Ontario’s Public Health Units then type “food safety” in the search engine and see what you come up with.
- Talk to a PHI/EHO about their career path or job shadow for a day.
- Read a book on food or emergency management, etc. and discuss with a PHI/EHO.