July 23,

Smoking Prohibited in City Outdoor Public Spaces for Everyone’s Health

July 13 – Local Public Health Partners Remind Residents about Smoke-Free Laws

Peterborough Public Health is partnering with Peterborough Police, The City of Peterborough, and Peterborough Musicfest to remind residents and visitors that both the Smoke-Free Ontario Act and the Peterborough Smoking Bylaw prohibit smoking in area parks, playgrounds, beaches and sports fields.

“Smoking rates continue to decline, however, many people believe that smoking outdoors is harmless, when in fact there is no safe level of exposure to secondhand smoke,” said Dr. Rosana Salvaterra, Medical Officer of Health. “Actively enforcing the current bylaw will both protect people from toxic secondhand smoke and support a reduction in smoking rates.”

She noted that smoking in Peterborough at a park, playground, or beach (including Peterborough Musicfest events and ball diamonds) could result in a fine up to $305.  Peterborough Police and Public Health Tobacco Enforcement Officers will be enforcing the rules in parks this summer.

Dr. Salvaterra said the good news is that the norms are changing, and that a recent study showed support was significantly higher for smoke-free outdoor spaces in 2015 than it was five years before, as more people are ready for and want smoke-free outdoor spaces.  “Smoke‐free public spaces provide a supportive environment for people who wish to stop smoking, and many people see positive, smoke-free role-modelling as especially important for our youth,” she said.

“We know that two-thirds of Peterborough residents who smoke want to quit smoking in the next six months, and smoke-free parks will play a part in those quit attempts,” Dr. Salvaterra added.

Help is available for those who want to quit smoking by calling Peterborough Public Health at 705-743-1000, ext. 330.

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For further information, please contact:
Keith Beecroft
Health Promoter, Tobacco Use Prevention
705-743-1000, ext. 238
OR
Courtney Howe
Tobacco Enforcement Officer
705-743-1000, ext. 245

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Peterborough Public Health Celebrates 20,000 Local Safe Food Handlers Since 1997

July 6, 2017 – Today Peterborough Public Health paid tribute to the 20,000 food handlers who have been certified to protect the public from foodborne illness since the Food Handler Training Certification course began in 1997.

“Today’s group of 25 students helps us reach an important milestone of 20,000 certified safe food handlers since 1997 who have taken their skills out into the community, to keep us all safe from foodborne illnesses,” said Atul Jain, Manager of Environmental Health programs.  “This event recognizes the role we all play in protecting public health, especially since the knowledge gained by these students is used both in their homes as well as in their workplaces.”

Mr. Jain noted that ensuring the community has strong food handling skills is an important preventative measure for public health, which is why the course continues to be offered at no charge to local residents.  Since 1997, Peterborough Public Health has run a total of 994 food handler courses, including the one that took place today.

Public Health Inspectors train food handlers in Peterborough City, County and Curve Lake and Hiawatha First Nations to ensure that all restaurants, long-term care homes, supermarkets, butcher shops, chip trucks and other food premises are preparing foods safely according to public health standards.  The Food Handler Training and Certification course teaches participants how to identify foodborne illness and food safety hazards, safe food handling process and correct cleaning and sanitizing techniques.

On January 1, 2015, a Food Handler Certification by-law came into place in both the City and County of Peterborough requiring all high and moderate risk food premises to have at least one certified food handler working in a supervisory capacity on site at all times.  High-risk food premises are those that handle food with multiple preparation steps, and/or who serve people at greatest health risks for food-borne illnesses, such as nursing homes, hospitals and some restaurants.  Moderate-risk food premises include fast-food establishments, chip trucks and bakeries that have fewer preparation steps and generally serve healthier populations.

If you would like to register for the Food Handler Training and Certification Course visit www.peterboroughpublichealth.ca or call 705-743-1000, ext. 240.

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For further information, please contact:
Brittany Cadence, Communications Manager
705-743-1000, ext. 391

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County Residents Can Now Drop Off Well Water Samples at Trent Lakes Administration Office

June 20, 2017 – Testing well water regularly keeps you and your family safe

Peterborough Public Health and the Municipality of Trent Lakes is pleased to announce a free new courier service starting today that allows county residents to conveniently submit well water samples at the Trent Lakes Administration Office.  Water samples from there are picked up Tuesdays and Thursdays before 10 a.m. and brought to the Peterborough Public Health Lab at 99 Hospital Drive for testing.

“We are delighted to make it easier for county residents to pick up water sample testing kits and drop them off in Trent Lakes,” said Atul Jain, Manager of Environmental Health Programs at Peterborough Public Health. “Water quality changes over time, that’s why we recommend testing private wells three to four times a year to prevent health risks. We hope by making this testing service more accessible that residents will test their well water more regularly.”

Water Sample Kits are free and available at the Municipality of Trent Lakes administrative office located at 760 Peterborough County Road 36 in the upper floor main entrance lobby. Samples are time sensitive, so residents are encouraged to read the instructions included with each kit carefully. Completed samples should be placed in the water sample fridge located beside the Building & Planning reception desk.

Water samples can also be dropped off at Peterborough Public Health between 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday, and from 8:30 a.m. to 12 noon on Fridays. Residents can also continue to drop off samples directly to the lab itself on 99 Hospital Drive (between the hours of 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m.), and in Havelock at the Havelock-Belmont-Methuen Township Office, located on 1 Ottawa St. from Monday through Thursday between 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m.

The well water testing service is available at no charge to all residents and cottagers in Trent Lakes through a program with Peterborough Public Health.

Well water samples are tested for two types of bacterial contamination: total coliforms and E. coli. The presence of E. coli indicates the water has been contaminated with fecal material, which can contain disease-causing microbes. These organisms can cause severe gastrointestinal illness. Anyone can become ill if they consume contaminated water, but the young, elderly, and immuno-compromised are at a higher risk.

Residents will receive water quality results by mail or you can call Public Health Ontario’s Interactive Voice Response at 1-877-723-3426. If you have questions about water quality test results, you can call the Peterborough Public Health’s Safe Water Program at 705-743-1000, ext. 232, for a free consultation.

To find out how to test for contaminants other than total coliforms and E. coli, contact Peterborough Public Health at 705-743-1000, ext. 232 or visit www.peterboroughpublichealth.ca, click on “My Home & Environment”, then “My Home”, then “Water”.

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For further information, please contact:
Brittany Cadence
Communications Manager
705-743-1000, ext. 391

 

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BOH June 14 Meeting Summary

June 19, 2017 – To view the meeting summary for the June 14 Board of Health Meeting click image below:

170614 Board of Health Meeting Summary – June

BOH meeting summary

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Food for Kids Has a Birthday Party for Canada’s 150th

June 13 – Good Food is Fun and Healthy at Queen Elizabeth Public School

It’s no secret that kids love to play with food! This morning, students at the Queen Elizabeth Public School Breakfast Program made and ate Canada flags for breakfast, using fresh produce and local cheese.  Students sang “Happy Birthday Dear Canada!”, coloured flags, and signed a giant birthday card for Canada.

“Today’s event is about celebrating Canada, and the healthy Canadian food that feeds students at our breakfast program each school day,” said Julie Hoit, Principal at Queen Elizabeth Public School. “Vegetables, fruit, and other nutritious foods served at our student nutrition program help students come to class ready to learn. School food boxes like today’s, are one way that healthy food gets to our students.”

Queen Elizabeth wasn’t the only school celebrating Canada’s 150th birthday.  Student nutrition programs at 47 schools across the city and county received school food boxes this week filled with fresh red and white ingredients.

“This is the seventeenth time this year that schools have received food boxes for breakfast and snack programs,” said Angela Fuchs, Community Development Coordinator with Food for Kids Peterborough. “Contributions from grants, local businesses, and the Ministry of Children and Youth Services help make these food boxes possible.  This particular festive box was funded by the Community Fund for Canada’s 150th birthday.”

Making food fun is important to Nancy Calder, the coordinator at the Queen Elizabeth Student Nutrition Program. “I love seeing kids try healthy foods they have never tried before,” said Calder. “I find that involving children in preparing food at breakfast and snack programs is a great way to help them gain independence and life skills. Kids also seem to be more willing to try new vegetables and fruit when they help prepare them!”

This school food box initiative is made possible by generous community donations to Food for Kids, including contributions from the United Way, Kawartha Credit Union, the Ministry of Child and Youth Services, and the Community Fund for Canada’s 150th, a collaboration between the Community Foundation of Greater Peterborough, Community Foundations of Canada, the government of Canada, and extraordinary leaders from coast to coast to coast.

 

If you are interested in volunteering at a breakfast program near you, or making a donation, visit www.FoodforKidsPtbo.ca or call 705-743-1000, ext. 233.

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For further information, please contact:
Lauren Kennedy, RD
Public Health Nutritionist
705-743-1000, ext. 233

 

 

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