REHIS News

MOVING TOWARDS BETTER GLOBAL FOODBORNE DISEASE SURVEILLANCE

Almost 1 in 10 people worldwide fall ill every year after eating contaminated food which commonly causes bacterial diarrhoea, resulting in 230 000 deaths each year.

In an article published in Eurosurveillance, PulseNet International advocates for public health institutes and laboratories around the world to move together towards the use of whole genome sequencing (WGS) to improve detection of and response to foodborne illnesses and outbreaks. This will save lives and money due to the superior ability of WGS to link human cases with contaminated food sources.

NATIONAL CLEAN AIR DAY

National Clean Air Day Today, 15 June, marks the UK’s first ever National Clean Air Day which is intended to bring focus to what we can do about air pollution- to both protect our health and reduce air pollution.

What is National Clean Air Day?

Air pollution is real and harms the health of millions. Unlike other risks to our health, lots of people don’t know what causes air pollution, what effects it has on our bodies or how to reduce our exposure to it.

LET’S GET COOKING CLUBS FOR SCHOOL STUDENTS

School students are completing their REHIS Elementary Food Hygiene qualification as part of their two day “Let’s Get Cooking” course.

Let’s Get Cooking in Scotland with funding from Big Lottery’s Young Start Fund the Children’s Food Trust are working in partnership with 17 secondary schools across five local authorities. There are now Let’s Get Cooking Clubs in Glasgow, Edinburgh, North Lanarkshire, East Dunbartonshire and West Dunbartonshire.

SCOTLAND’S BATHING WATER SEASON BEGINS

Scotland’s new bathing water season began on 1 June 2017 with the good news that 87% of Scotland’s bathing waters have achieved strict European water quality standards.

The final classifications, now issued by the EU, show that out of the 84 officially designated bathing waters in Scotland in 2016:

• 26 have been rated as ‘excellent’ (up from 17 previous season)

• 36 are classed as ‘good’

• 11 have achieved the ‘sufficient’ standard

• 11 have been rated as ‘poor’ (down from 17 previous season)

COULD WASHING YOUR HANDS IN COLD WATER BE AS EFFECTIVE AS HOT WATER?

A study from US researchers claim that using unheated water to wash your hands is as effective at killing bacteria as using hot water.

The small study of 20 people found using water at 15oC left hands as clean as water heated to 38oC.

The study was carried out by researchers at the Rutgers University-New Brunswick in New Jersey, and the results were published in the Journal of Food Protection.

The study examined the effect of various factors, such as soap volume, water temperature, lather time, and the hand washing efficacy of the soap as formulated on the product.

HONORARY VICE-PRESIDENT VISITS THE REHIS OFFICE

Dr Jim Smith, one of the Institute’s Honorary Vice-Presidents, visited the Institute’s offices in Edinburgh on 18 May this year at the start of a vocational trip around Europe.

Jim is a past President of Environmental Health Australia, an independent public health planning consultant, a public health policy adviser to local government in Australia and holds a number of academic appointments including that of Adjunct Associate Professor at La Trobe University and at Flinders University.

HEALTHY YOU HEALTHY ME - NEW JOINT AWARD

REHIS is delighted to announce the signing of a new joint award between the Institute and TEENS+ called Healthy You, Healthy Me.

TEENS+ (Transitional Educational, Extra Needs Support) is a full-time further education facility for young, post-school adults with severe and complex learning difficulties.

DOCTORS WARN RISE OF PARASITIC INFECTIONS LINKED TO SUSHI

 Doctors writing in the British Medical Journal Case Reports said sushi’s growing popularity in the West could be linked to a rise in parasitic infections.

A team of doctors from Portugal raised concerns after a 32-year old man was admitted to hospital complaining of pain in his abdomen just below his ribs, vomiting and had a slight fever since the previous week.

ANNUAL ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH FORUM HAILED A SUCCESS

The year’s Annual Environmental Health Forum was held in Greenock on 26 and 27 April. The Forum seen public health bodies and industry coming together in the interests of “Building Better Futures” which was the theme of the event.

The event was held in the Beacon Art Centre which provided a beautiful backdrop as the room overlooked views of the Firth of Clyde.

The first day seen a fully packed day of speakers. First speaker Dr De Caestecker, Director of Public Health at NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde discussed what actions are needed to tackle health inequalities.

HEPATITIS A CASES IN LANARKSHIRE UPDATE

Hepatitis A cases in Lanarkshire Update A reminder regarding the importance of good hand hygiene has come from NHS Lanarkshire’s department of public health, environmental health and other agencies as part of the investigation and management of a hepatitis A outbreak.

The number of confirmed cases has increased from nine to 42.

Most of the cases recall having consumed food produced by the baker JB Christie before mid-April, through its outlets in Airdrie and Coatbridge.

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