SC DHEC - MFRPS Project Abstract South Carolina Department of Health &Environmental Control (SC DHEC) plans to utilize this cooperative agreement to provide staff and resources necessary for SC DHEC to achieve conformance with the Manufactured Foods Regulatory Program Standards by the end of Year 3. Specifically, by hiring one full time Environmental Health Manager tasked with records management, communicating and educating industry stakeholders, assisting with audit and enforcement support. Additionally a 50% Applications Analyst will be hired to create automated systems to track and improve efficiency of record keeping associated with inspections, complaints and enforcement to enhance standards sustainability. Also, a 25% foodborne epidemiologist will be supported in order to improve food complaint data, traceback/traceforward efforts and foodborne disease investigation. This agreement will provide travel funding for program staff to attend and participate in national committees and the annual meeting. During Years 4 &5 SC DHEC plans to conduct an educational assessment and outreach to manufacturers as well as 2 tabletop exercises for manufacturers to increase involvement and understanding of core public health and food safety goals. Achieving this purpose will help SC DHEC ensure that national standardized food safety objectives are met and that SC DHEC has staff and resources to both enforce and advance these objectives. In the past, SC DHEC has not had the dedicated personnel to address the remaining gaps to full conformance. Currently, these responsibilities fall on inspection staff. This cooperative agreement provides personnel that can be specifically dedicated to these goals and greatly improve efforts to achieve conformance. This dedicated staff will be tasked with developing programs and systems to automate data needs related to conformance. Once SC DHEC achieves conformance with personnel, systems and equipment needs outlined in this proposal, maintaining it will be significantly less burdensome. At the conclusion of the project period existing inspection staff will be able to utilize the systems created to audit, verify and maintain conformance to program standards.
SC DHEC - MFRPS Narrative Conformance with the Manufactured Food Regulatory Program Standards is a goal that South Carolina Department of Health &Environmental Control (SC DHEC) hopes to achieve through this cooperative agreement. Reaching this goal will help SC DHEC better direct regulatory activities to ensure that national standardized food safety objectives are met and reduce foodborne illness hazards in manufactured food plants. As a result, the public's food supply will be safer and more secure.