Strengthening Equity Through Food Safety
In 2014, Whatcom County Health Department's (WCHD's) Food Safety Program developed a quality improvement (QI) project to improve communication with non-English-speaking or English as a Second Language (ESL) food service operators in the community. The project team sought to improve communication with these operators.
Initially, the project team analyzed quantitative data and collected and summarized "voice of the customer" data by conducting 16 interviews with food service operators in languages other than English. The project team found that 17.8% of the Level 3 food establishments have non-English-speaking or ESL operators. In addition, 50% of those interviewed indicated that language creates barriers that make it difficult for the operator or staff to comply with the food code or understand the food inspectors' instructions.
The project team is currently implementing these interventions and collecting data to determine whether the QI interventions improve the success of non-English-speaking and ESL food service operators in complying with the food code, thus reducing red violation points in Level 3 food operations.
Sloan, S. Public Health Quality Improvement Exchange. Strengthening Equity Through Food Safety. Fri, 08/14/2015 - 14:28. Available at https://www.phqix.org/content/strengthening-equity-through-food-safety. Accessed February 7, 2023.