Title: Environmental Analyst I, Foodborne Illness Response Analyst – Bureau of Environmental Health
Organization: The Massachusetts Department of Public Health
Brief Summary of Position:
The Foodborne Illness Response Analyst works with the Working Group on Foodborne Illness Control (WGFIC) to investigate incidents or outbreaks of foodborne illness (FBI) or injury, and coordinates Rapid Response Team (RRT) activations and environmental investigations with epidemiology and laboratory investigators. This position is responsible for monitoring and tracking food-related incidents that are reported in federal databases and will perform recall audit checks. The Analyst will develop training tools and job aids for state, local and/or federal agency personnel to investigate and track suspect foodborne illness outbreaks, and to improve the reporting of foodborne illness outbreaks to DPH in a timely manner. The Analyst also assists with environmental assessments and collects environmental samples for laboratory analysis as directed, participates on the Food Establishment Advisory Committee (FEAC), and coordinates and monitors FBI responses activities on behalf of FPP. The Analyst will assess and/or identify possible corrective actions that would reduce or eliminate causative conditions of foodborne illnesses.
Duties & Responsibilities:
- Prepare and/or review scientific reports, studies and analytical data on RRT investigations and environmental assessments to improve response rates. Enter and maintain notifications of food-related incidents that are reported to FPP in the Massachusetts Virtual Epidemiologic Network (MAVEN) or other appropriate logs or databases.
- Review and summarize food-related incidents that are reported in federal databases including, but not limited to, the FDA United Registration and Listing System (FURLS), the Reportable Food Registry (RFR), OutbreakNET, and eLexNET.
- Perform calculations to verify that product recalls are successful as defined by FPP recall procedures, and coordinate recall audit checks with local Boards of Health (LBoHs).
- Write memoranda, letters and technical or general reports, conduct after action reviews (AARs) in accordance with FPP procedures, and complete documentation required for exercises, responses, and RRT activations. Incorporate recommendations and findings from AARs into RRT improvement plan.
- Collect samples and assist with environmental assessments during FBI and outbreak investigations. Respond to emergencies, consumer foodborne illness reports, complaints, and inquiries in a timely fashion.
- Support the LBoHs during FBI and outbreak investigations, and assess LBoH responses. Work with DPH staff and contractors to provide training programs for LBoHs in order to improve the reporting of foodborne illness outbreaks to DPH in a timely manner.
- Perform related duties such as collecting, compiling and correlating environmental assessment data; reading manufacturers’ publications and meeting with manufacturers’ representatives to keep abreast of latest technical advances and products.
- Maintain records and documents for posting on the DPH web site, work with DPH web designers to create foodborne illness information for posting.
- Provide technical advice on such matters as environmental assessments, emergency response and regulatory codes.
- Attend WGFIC and FEAC meetings and conferences with agency staff, contractors and interested parties on program issues such as FBI and outbreak investigations.
- Perform related duties such as collecting, compiling, and correlating inspectional data; providing technical advice on regulatory policies; attending quarterly meetings at FDA New England District Office, and annual out-of-state meetings required under RRT contracts.
- Knowledge of the principles and practices of environmental science and public health.
- Knowledge of the types and uses of instruments and equipment, both portable and stationary, used in measuring environmental conditions.
- Knowledge of the environmental properties of soils including the transmissivity, bacteriological activity, and absorption and adsorption properties of soils.
- Knowledge of the properties and characteristics of carcinogens, mutagens, teratogens and other toxicological agents.
- Knowledge of the chemical properties of water including pH, conductivity, presence of trace metals, volatile organic compounds, turbidity, nutrient levels and seasonal temperature characteristics.
- Knowledge of the principles of hydraulics applied to surface runoff, erosion and sedimentation.
- Knowledge of the principles of hydrology including hydrologic cycle, groundwater flow, gradient, contaminant migration, recharge, discharge and hydraulic properties of aquifers.
- Ability to read and interpret documents such as risk assessments, chemical analysis, biological analysis and hydrogeology reports.
- Ability to give oral and written instructions in a precise, understandable manner.
- Ability to assemble items of information according to established procedures.
- Ability to understand, apply and explain the laws, rules, regulations, policies, procedures, specifications and guidelines governing assigned unit activities.
- Ability to analyze and determine the applicability of environmental science data, to draw conclusions and make appropriate recommendations.
- Ability to respond calmly and both obey and give instructions during environmental emergencies.
- Knowledge of the standard procedures for taking field notes in connection with environmental sampling and surveying to obtain legally defensible data.
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First consideration will be given to those applicants that apply within the first 14 days.