NEHA April 2024 Journal of Environmental Health

 THE PRACTITIONER’S TOOL KIT continued from page 51

mental health professional or sanitarian. It requires scrutiny of your methodology, as well as the underlying scientific principles. It allows the judge to further assess the methodology and reasoning behind your expert opinions, rather than simply rely on your credentials or reputation. To this end, the report is the most impor- tant product of the forensic inspection. The report can vary in format, but it includes the observations, data collected, any literature research to support the findings, and a con- clusion that reiterates the key opinions. The report needs to be written in a language that meets the needs of the client and the stan- dards of the courts. The report can be used as the basis for negotiation. It could become part of court documents and be used in your deposition or at trial. For these reasons, your report is often attached to a declaration of facts—an adavit that arms the statements in the document are true. One of the best resources for writing an expert witness report is a book published by an expert witness training company (Mangraviti et al., 2014). Evaluation Finally, there is the evaluation: the ultimate assignment in a consulting practice. The best description of a consultative evaluation is a quasi-inspection that is performance-based, goal-oriented, and might be data-driven. For the most part, the evaluation is subjective, with supporting objective components. It relies on your professional knowledge and experience. As such, the success of the evaluation depends on the acquired knowledge, skills, and abili- ties of you, a seasoned professional. The more experience and mastery you have of the sub- ject area, the better the outcome. The primary objective of an environmen- tal health evaluation is to ascertain the extent to which the client adheres to normative standards and good practices, which makes an evaluation similar to an audit. Unlike an

audit, however, the goal of the evaluation is to develop internal written policies and pro- cedures for use in the client’s operation. For example, an evaluation can refine the sani- tation requirements of an institution (e.g., prison, nursing home) to develop a Listeria prevention program for a food manufac- turer, improve a well testing or vector control program, or even assess the e‰ectiveness of regulatory compliance inspections at a health department. The options are endless. The evaluation does not have a defined methodology. Rather, it provides a general examination of the organization based on the client’s needs. Evaluations do not nec- essarily involve site visits or sampling, but they do require extensive literature research and a thorough review of internal docu- ments. There are neither time constraints nor any prescriptive criteria or format requirements for the evaluation report. Sometimes, a report is not required. More often than not, however, the client could seek changes, refinements, or expansion of the evaluation to address additional needs. And on occasion, your work might o‰er additional opportunities for training, audit- ing, and continued consultations. We have shared information about four basic inspection types—regulatory and mul- timedia compliance, auditing, forensic, and evaluation—to include in your tool kit. Over- all, be fair and ethical in any inspection you participate in. Now, go and have fun!

can Society for Quality. quality-press/display-item?item=H1570 Conference for Food Protection, Plan Review Committee. (2016). Food establishment plan review manual (2016 version). http:// plan-review-manual.pdf International Organization for Standards. (2018). ISO 19011:2018: Guidelines for auditing management systems . https://www. Mangraviti, J.J., Jr., Babitsky, S., & Donovan, N.N. (2014). How to write an expert witness report . SEAK, Inc. Powitz, R.W., (2005, April 1). Street HACCP: Paving the way for small retail operations. Food Safety Magazine . ing-the-way-for-small-retail-operations Salfinger, Y., & Tortorello, M.L. (Eds.). (2015). Compendium of methods for micro- biological examination of foods (5th ed.). American Public Health Association. U.S. Department of Defense. (1989). Mili- tary standard: Sampling procedures and tables for inspection by attributes (MIL- STD-105E). ADA284013.pdf U.S. Department of Defense. (2000). Depart- ment of Defense test method standard for environmental engineering considerations and laboratory tests (MIL-STD-810F). Mil-Std-810F/MILSTD810F.pdf U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Oce of Inspector General. (2000). Enforce- ment: EPA’s multimedia enforcement program (Report no. 2000-P-000018). https://www. uments/mmfinal1.pdf Vaccaro, M., (2013). Active managerial con- trol: A HACCP approach. Nutrition & Foodservice Edge .


References Balsamo, J.J., Jr., Coleman, N.P., Collins, B., Noonan, G.P., Powitz, R.W., Radke, V.J., & Treser, C.D. (2023). The art and science of inspection: A short introduction. Journal of Environmental Health , 86 (4), 42–44. Coleman, L.B., Sr. (2020). The ASQ certified quality auditor handbook (5th ed.). Ameri-

Did You Know?

National Public Health Week is April 1–7. This year’s theme is, “Protecting, Connecting, and Thriving: We Are All Public Health.” During this week, the American Public Health Association brings us all together to recognize the importance of public health. Learn more at


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