Lake County General Health District relaunches Food Safety Ninja website

Mar. 24—The Lake County General Health District has announced the re-launch of the Food Safety Ninja


The newly designed website provides important food safety information that can be used by private residents and food services, according to a news release.

The new homepage has up-to-date food recall and outbreak alerts, weekly food safety tips and videos, printable resources, handouts, quizzes with printable certificates, food safety links, and an "Ask the Experts" section, where individuals can ask specific food safety questions that will be answered by LCGHD's food staff.

For those who would like to test their food safety knowledge, there is an interactive "That's Just Wrong!" page that has pictures or videos that show a wrong food safety situation. Viewers may submit a photo showing the right way to solve the improper food safety situation.

If picked by LCGHD food staff, the viewer's photo and name will be posted on the website, making them an honorary Food Safety Ninja, the release stated.

The creation of the original Food Safety Ninja website began in 2015 when the Health District obtained a five-year United States Food and Drug Administration grant to improve the food safety program in Lake County. Included within the grant was the requirement to create an innovative food safety intervention directed at food establishments.

The Health District's food staff reached out to a local professor in search of community collaboration to create this educational intervention, the release stated. Steven Gutierrez of the Cleveland Institute of Art created an animation course designed around this grant. His students, along with LCGHD food staff members, created the Food Safety Ninja.

The students designed the first six animated food safety videos, and Gutierrez created a webpage to host these animated videos. This website served as an educational intervention that licensed food establishments were sent to for remedial education when certain food safety violations were found during a routine inspection.

The mandatory remedial education portion of the website has been removed, but the education videos and

quizzes remain for use by anyone desiring food safety training, the release stated.

At the completion of the FDA grant, the Health District continued to keep the website active with further collaboration with Gutierrez and the creation of two additional videos.

In 2022, Lthe Health District decided that the webpage needed to be reformatted into a site that is usable by both the regulated food community and the general public, the release stated. By adding additional videos, new content, and interactive sections, officials hope that the page will be useful for people around the world.

"We really hope that the general public will interact with the website and find it a useful household resource for food safety tips," Registered Environmental Health Specialist Paul Stromp stated in the release. "We also hope that food services continue to use it to help train new staff."