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July 20, 2017

Boulder County Public Health wins prestigious international award for excellence in food safety

Boulder County, Colo. - Boulder County Public Health has been recognized for the second time since 1992 as a leader in food safety for its innovative and collaborative approach to preventing the spread of foodborne illnesses.

The agency’s Food Safety Program has been awarded the prestigious Samuel J. Crumbine Consumer Protection Award, sponsored by the Conference for Food Protection.

The Crumbine Award is presented annually to a local environmental health agency in the U.S. or Canada in recognition of outstanding food protection services that help reduce and eliminate foodborne illness. The services are often replicated as best practices for use by other food protection programs in the nation. This year Boulder County Public Health is a co-recipient of the Crumbine Award with the Kansas City Health Department.

The Boulder County Public Health Food Safety Program provides a variety of necessary risk management tools to facilities. The program’s work includes disaster preparedness guidelines; industry partnerships, such as the Partners for Food Safety Program; risk-based inspection services; and working closely with food service managers to mitigate risks of foodborne illness.

Program data demonstrates that food service inspection scores in Boulder County continue to improve, and risks from foodborne illness have decreased as a result of the strengthened relationship between the Food Safety Program and local food service managers and employees. Food Safety Team members include Nathan Andrews, Gina Bare, David Baum, Lane Drager, Melissa Ellis, Shawna Johnson, Marshall Lipps, Zack Lustgarten, Rob Martinez, Carol McInnes, Nick Robles, Reina Sifuentes, and Rosa Stillwell.

Boulder County is home to roughly 1,800 retail food establishments, and over 80 percent have achieved “good” or “excellent” safety ratings. Prior to the Food Safety Program’s increased collaboration with local retail food establishments, only 43% of facilities received an “excellent” or “good” rating, and almost 20% of inspections received an “unacceptable” rating. Now less than 1% of Boulder County food service facilities are rated “unacceptable.”

Partners from several local food service establishments, Colorado State University, the Colorado School of Public Health, and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration wrote letters of support to the Crumbine Award jury praising Boulder County’s leadership and commitment to collaboration with the local food service community.

“We are thrilled and honored to be recognized for the work we have done with local restaurants and other partners to improve food safety and protect public health,” said Boulder County Public Health Consumer Protection Program Coordinator Lane Drager. “Helping people make informed, responsible decisions is central to the work we do, and we’re thankful for the support of so many leaders in the local food service community.”

The Crumbine Award and medallions were presented to Boulder County Public Health at the National Environmental Health Association Annual Education Conference in Grand Rapids, Michigan; the National Association of County and City Health Officials Annual Conference in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; and the International Association for Food Protection Conference in Tampa Bay, Florida. The Food Safety Program will also be recognized by the Boulder County Board of Health on Monday, Aug. 14.

Visit for more information about the Boulder County Public Health Food Safety Program.