KeepHealthCare.ORG – Gwinnett, Newton and Rockdale County Health Departments one of five in country to meet all FDA food program standards | News
The Gwinnett, Newton and Rockdale County Health Departments (GNR) recently announced their Environmental Health program met all nine standards for the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) national retail food regulatory program.
According to a news release, GNR is now one of only five jurisdictions in the nation to achieve the status. The program defines “what constitutes a highly effective and response program for the regulation of food service and retail food establishments.”
“They begin by providing a foundation and system upon which all regulatory programs can build through a continuous improvement process,” the release said. “Further, they provide a framework designed to accommodate both traditional and emerging approaches to food safety.”
The program, the release said, is intended to reinforce proper sanitation (good retail practices) and “operational and environmental prerequisite programs while encouraging regulatory agencies and industry to focus on the factors that cause and contribute to food borne illness, with the ultimate goal of reducing the occurrence of those factors.”
“The Retail Program Standards represent an important component of a comprehensive strategic approach to help ensure
the safety and security of the food supply at the retail level,” the release said.
The nine standards include: regulatory foundation, trained regulatory staff, inspection program based on HAACP principles, uniform inspection program, food borne illness and food defense preparedness and response, compliance and enforcement, industry and community relations, program support and resources and program assessment.
There are currently only four other jurisdictions in the country meeting all nine standards. They are: the Kansas City Missouri Health Department (Missouri), City of Vineland Health Department (New Jersey), Portsmouth Health Department (Virginia), and Virginia Beach Department of Public Health (Virginia).
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