Lake County, California is a rural area with a relatively small number of foodestablishments and a small environmental health staff. The Environmental HealthDivision, along with Public Health, is part of the Health Services Department. Lake EHhas two Environmental Health Specialists assigned to the retail food program withadministrative support from office assistants and a general program supervisor.Lake EH enrolled in the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Voluntary National RetailFood Regulatory Program Standards on September 26, 2006 and completed an initialself assessment on March 11, 2010 for all nine program standards. Standards #2 and #5were selected as goals with the intent to complete those and then select other standardsas tools for on-going program improvement. Since enrollment, Lake EH has struggled tocomplete standards to the level of verification audit.A complete program designed to pass an audit on an entire Program Standard is difficultfor small jurisdictions and may not be the best use of limited resources. However, amethodical review of specific, selected components of the Regulatory ProgramStandard, appropriately applied, may result in measurable program improvement andpublic health benefit. Lake County Environmental Health Division intends to build anddocument a formal system that will selectively use features of the Voluntary NationalRetail Food Regulatory Program Standards for continuous program improvements in aretail food safety program. The system will include standards completed and maintainedto pass the verification audit and other standards worked on, not necessarily tocompletion but to enhance food safety. Selection and evaluation will be based on thefive major risk factors for food borne illness and the most effective intervention strategiesas components the selected regulatory program standards.The limiting factor for making Voluntary National Retail Food Regulatory ProgramStandards an integral part of the local program is staff resources. Lake EH proposes touse these grant funds for one professional position added to the retail food team tosupplement existing staff. The primary task for this position will be to organize the retailfood inspection program on the Regulatory Program Standards.
Lake County, California is a rural area with a relatively small number of food establishments and a small environmental health staff. Lake County Environmental Health Division intends to build and document a formal system that will selectively use features of the Voluntary National Retail Food Regulatory Program Standards for continuous program improvements in a retail food safety program.