About the Food Safety Summit
The Environmental Public Health (EPH) Division of Harris County Public Health (HCPH) ensures the integrity of the food supply within Harris County. The division oversees approximately 8,400 retail food establishments located within unincorporated areas of the county and the 23 cities without health departments. Retail food establishments include: restaurants, fast food outlets, grocery stores, convenience stores, bars, day care centers, schools, nursing homes, hospitals, bakeries, mobile food units and temporary events.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that one in six Americans becomes ill by consuming contaminated foods or beverages. Centers for Disease Control show that in 2015 there were 902 foodborne disease outbreaks reported, resulting in 15,202 illnesses and 15 deaths. In unincorporated Harris County in 2017, there were 17 foodborne disease outbreaks, 386 unconfirmed illnesses and 2 deaths.
EPH works hard to lower those statistics. An annual event was created to educate food establishment owners and managers on safe food handling practices, foodborne illness prevention strategies and how to avoid common violations. The highly praised Food Safety Summit is now in its third year and is free of charge.