PHSD enrolled in the VNRPS in 2003 and began to work toward conformance in 2008 by conducting the initial self-assessment. Standards one (1), three (3), four (4) and seven (7) were met and audited. A baseline risk factor survey was conducted in 2012. Work toward conformance of all standards continues. A second self-assessment will be completed prior to January of 2013. WVDHHR has applied for and received funding from FDA to continue working toward the VNRPS. WV applied in June for $2,500 in funding to conduct the second self-assessment. Progress has been made toward alleviating gaps that were identified in the first self-assessment. For example: A training plan and documentation database has been developed. Other standards have additional gaps that were identified and need activities conducted in order to meet the standards. Additional staff will allow the activities to be conducted much more quickly than at the current rate of one (1) or two (2) per year. All activities conducted will be audited by an independent auditor who will be hired on a contractual basis. Having this position available will allow all segments have the Standards to be audited on a more frequent basis. Several training opportunities will be made available for staff and managers of the retail establishments that are regulated by the Food program at PHSD. Additional training materials will be made available to the hospitality industry in front of the National Boy Scout Jamboree and subsequent events held at that permanent location. Software and printers will be purchased in order to create uniformity among all food inspection staff at the state and local level. This purchase will allow the state staff to conduct and report the inspection results electronically. BPH has worked with a software developer and a pilot is currently being piloted in several local health departments. This program was funded by CDC for local health. The state inspection staff was not included in that funding opportunity. In summary, WVDHHR, WVBPH and WVPHSD are committed to developing an excellent food safety program with an ultimate goal of reducing or eliminating the occurrence of illness and death related to foodborne illness.
WV BPH will continue to move forward with conformance of the Voluntary National Regulatory Program Standards in order to strengthen the WV food safety program. WV will focus on the reduction of risk factors known to cause or contribute to foodborne illness and to promote active managerial control of these risk factors. Improving the infrastructure of the food safety program will result in decreased illness associated with food consumed in retail establishments.