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ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH e-NEWS
Produced by the Environmental Health Directorate (EHD)
March 2021
UPDATES
 
Reminder: Register for the Public Health Act and Food Safety Culture webinar
As part of the EHD webinar series, please join us for an update on stage 5 of the Public Health Act 2016, and learn more about the local government role in promoting food businesses to foster a Food Safety Culture. The webinar will be held on Tuesday 16 March 2021, 9:00am to 10:45am. Register here. Please email through any questions you would like answered during the webinar to EH.Stakeholderengagement.
COVID Event Plan template
An updated version of the COVID Event Plan template has recently been published on the WA Government website. Please encourage event organisers to utilise this new version, which has overcome some of the technical issues with the previous template.
2020 fresh fruit and vegetables survey closed
The Department of Health would like to thank local government EHO’s for their participation in the 2020 chemical monitoring survey which involved collecting samples from local fruit and vegetable growers who sell fresh produce directly to the public and investigating non-compliances with the prescribed MRLs. A total of 232 samples were submitted. It is anticipated that key survey findings on local producers’ compliance with chemical residue limits set under the Australia New Zealand Food Standards Code will be published by June 2021. Visit our website for more information.
March fly bite reactions
A March fly warning has been issued after a number of severe allergic reactions were reported following bites from the insects. Medical Entomology are requesting March fly specimens be collected and sent to Medical Entomology and a followup survey be undertaken by individuals experiencing an adverse reaction to a March fly bite.
Mosquito activity continues
A mosquito warning has been issued following recent heavy rainfall, flooding and tidal surges across many regions in WA. Mosquito-borne disease notifications continue to remain above average. Local governments are encouraged to promote Fight the Bite to raise community awareness. For more information contact Medical Entomology
Mosquito-borne disease quarterly reports
Mosquito-borne disease quarterly reports are now available for the Oct-Dec 2020 period for each of WA's public health regions. For more information contact Medical Entomology
Wastewater masterclass
The Assessment of Site and Soil Evaluation Reports workshop held on 24 February 2021 at the EHA conference was a success with lots of knowledge and experience sharing between local governments and the EHD. This workshop will be held in different locations throughout the State and advertised in the e-news. The next workshop will be held in Broome on 23 March 2021 and plans are underway for the South West in June (dates and location to be confirmed). A big thank to the the Shires of Mundaring and Serpentine-Jarrahdale for presenting on practical local government examples. View photo 1, photo 2, photo 3 of the workshop participants. For any queries regarding the workshop please email WAApps or check out the slides online.
Reminder: Consultation open for the wastewater discussion paper
Submissions are open for the Managing public health risks from wastewater conveyance, treatment and disposal in WA discussion paper. EHOs are encouraged to read the paper and complete the survey online. Consultation closes on 21 May 2021. It is important to note you can save your responses and return at a later time to complete the survey before submitting. Preview a printable version of the questions here before completing online. 
Who registers pet meat businesses?
Pet meat is produced and processed under much lower standards than food produced for human consumption and therefore not safe for consumers to eat. Division 4 of the Food Regulations 2009 controls the processing, identification and sale of pet meat to prevent it from being used for human consumption. Pet meat businesses must notify the business with the relevant local government according to their activities. Refer to the pet meat webpage for more information. 
Environmental Health stall at the 2021 EHA Conference
The Environmental Health Directorate is a long standing gold sponsor of the EHA conference, held from the 24-26 February 2021. This year's exhibition promoted a range of health promotional materials now on offer to support local governments and other stakeholders to increase awareness about key environmental health risks in WA. Twleve staff from the EHD presented at this year's conference, along with an opening address by Dr Andrew Robertson, Chief Health Officer and Elaine Clucas from the Public Health Emergency Operations Centre (PHEOC). You can order the Play it Food Safe and Food Industry materials via the online publication ordering system. All Fight the Bite promotional materials can be ordered by emailing Medical Entomology.
Pesticide safety e-News
The EHD releases a bi-annual newsletter targeting pest management technicians and pest management businesses on pesticide safety matters. With over 2500 technicians and businesses licensed with the Department of Health it is important to keep the industry up to date on current pesticide safety matters. View the latest March edition. EHOs are encouraged to promote the newsletter to appropriate staff within your local governments, who can subscribe here. View past electronic editions here.
Fumigation site advice for local government
All fumigation sites are approved and regulated by the Department of Health, however local government does has a role in assisting the Department with determining a sites suitability for fumigation. Fumigation site advice for local government is available to assist EHOs and Town Planners receiving enquiries about sites proposed for fumigation. 
Local Government Environmental Health Initiatives

Promoting local government environmental health initiatives across WA. 
Geraldton EHOs help out neighbouring Carnavon with flood recovery
The City of Geraldton sent two EHOs, Tahila Mueller and Emily Geeson, to help the Shire of Carnarvon with flood recovery efforts. This included inspections of food premises, various plantations, contaminated water as well as inundated waste water systems. The Shire is facing the tremendous task of helping the community get back on their feet after the recent downpour. Some properties have undergone substantial damage and the complete extent of this damage is still being discovered. Tahlia Muellier said "In the first week we were able to assist the Shire’s EHO through aerial surveillance of the flooding, mosquito sampling, property inspections, and complaint investigations". Read the article in the Geraldton Guardian and view photos; photo 1photo 2, photo 3.
Mandurah develops policy restricting unhealthy food advertising
The City of Mandurah is showing leadership in public health planning, developing a policy for advertising in road reserves, with a section prohibiting images of unhealthy food, alcohol and tobacco products, to align with the City's Health and Wellbeing Plan. The restriction on unhealthy food has attracted a fair bit of interest, with no other WA local government known to be taking this approach. The Mayor did an interview regarding the new policy, available on ABC (listen from 52.30 minutes in). View the Advertising in road reserves policy
 
Promote your local government EH initiatives
The EHD appreciates local government EHOs letting us know what initiatives and noteworthy investigations you have been involved in that are worth sharing with other EHOs. Have you been involved in managing fire damaged asbestos? Bushfire recovery? Food outbreak investigations? Released your public health plan? Please email EH.Stakeholderengagement to help us to promote your work. 
We need your help to identify environmental health initiatives and examples of case studies, consumer awareness and surveillance programs happening across WA local governments. Email EH Stakeholder Engagement with information on yours or another local governments projects worthy of promoting in the e-News.
Environmental Health Meetings

North-West Environmental Health Officers Regional Meeting, 23 March 2021, Broome

Metropolitan Environmental Health Managers Group, 24 March, Belmont
 

Peel Environmental Health Officers Regional Meeting, 25 March 2021, Mandurah 

Aboriginal Environmental Heath Forum, Broome, May 2021, Contact John Perrett for details

Local Government Regional Group Coordinators, Environmental Health Australia WA
Contact us

The Environmental Health Directorate switchboard can be contacted on
(08) 9222 2000 or email 
ehinfo@health.wa.gov.au 

The Department of Health head office switchboard is (08) 9222 4222
Download our staff list 
(updated January 2021)
Order publications online
A selection of hard copy Environmental Health Directorate resources can be ordered online using the Department of Health’s
online publication ordering system. Create an account and enter the search category "environmental health".
About the Environmental Health Directorate
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www.health.wa.gov.au
www.healthywa.wa.gov.au

Phone: (08) 9222 2000
Our mailing address is:
PO Box 8172
Perth Business Centre WA 6849
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Environmental Health Directorate, Department of Health WA · PO BOx 8172 · Perth Business Centre, WA 6849 · Australia