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    Ohio Food Industry Foundation Gets Grant to Develop Pandemic Influenza Preparedness Guide

    COLUMBUS, Ohio -- The Ohio Food Industry Foundation (OFIF), the educational and philanthropic arm of the Ohio Grocers Association (OGA) here, was recently awarded a grant from the Center of Disease Control (CDC) through the Ohio Department of Health to develop a pandemic influenza preparedness guide for grocers.

    COLUMBUS, Ohio -- The Ohio Food Industry Foundation (OFIF), the educational and philanthropic arm of the Ohio Grocers Association (OGA) here, was recently awarded a grant from the Center of Disease Control (CDC) through the Ohio Department of Health to develop a pandemic influenza preparedness guide for grocers.

    Created in partnership with the Ohio Food Industry Foundation and the Ohio Department of Health, the guide is an early step in focusing on the problem of maintaining business continuity during and after an influenza pandemic and one of many steps being taken by the Ohio Department of Health as part of its pandemic flu planning and Ohio's overall pandemic flu strategy.

    "The best time for triumph over an emergency is before it happens," said Tonya Woodruff, director of the Ohio Food Industry Foundation. "When that emergency is an influenza pandemic affecting Ohioans and millions more across America and around the world, planning, and preparation [are] absolutely critical."

    The pandemic influenza preparedness guide will also contain the following: explanations of pandemic influenza, infection control, dealing with customers, formation of a crisis management team, resources for staff to aid in responding to the pandemic influenza, providing consumer information of a Retail Food Establishment (RFE) operation during and after the pandemic influenza, suggested tools for media presentation, and a emergency contact information checklist for use by RFE staff. The information will be incorporated into a business planning checklist, a resource list, a business recovery plan, and other materials as necessary.

    "We're pleased to be able create this guide for grocers in Ohio," said Tom Jackson, OGA's president and c.e.o. "One of our objectives is to provide the tools and the 'how to' necessary for comprehensive issues like this one."

    "The Pandemic Influenza Preparedness Guide for Retail Grocers Guide" will be distributed to all grocers in Ohio some time in September 2006.

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