Lake County, California is a rural area with a relatively small number of food establishments and a small environmental health staff. The Environmental Health Division, along with Public Health, is part of the Health Services Department. Lake EH has two Environmental Health Specialists assigned to the retail food program with administrative support from office assistants and a general program supervisor. Lake EH enrolled in the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Voluntary National Retail Food Regulatory Program Standards on September 26, 2006 and completed an initial self assessment on March 11, 2010 for all nine program standards. Standards #2 and #5 were selected as goals with the intent to complete those and then select other standards as tools for on-going program improvement. Since enrollment, Lake EH has struggled to complete standards to the level of verification audit. A complete program designed to pass an audit on an entire Program Standard is difficult for small jurisdictions and may not be the best use of limited resources. However, a methodical review of specific, selected components of the Regulatory Program Standard, appropriately applied, may result in measurable program improvement and public health benefit. 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. The system will include standards completed and maintained to pass the verification audit and other standards worked on, not necessarily to completion but to enhance food safety. Selection and evaluation will be based on the five major risk factors for food borne illness and the most effective intervention strategies as components the selected regulatory program standards. The limiting factor for making Voluntary National Retail Food Regulatory Program Standards an integral part of the local program is staff resources. Lake EH proposes to use these grant funds for one professional position added to the retail food team to supplement existing staff. The primary task for this position will be to organize the retail food inspection program on the Regulatory Program Standards.

Public Health Relevance

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.

Agency
National Institute of Health (NIH)
Type
Research Demonstration--Cooperative Agreements (U18)
Project #
5U18FD004670-03
Application #
8709843
Study Section
Special Emphasis Panel (ZFD1)
Project Start
Project End
Budget Start
Budget End
Support Year
3
Fiscal Year
2014
Total Cost
Indirect Cost
Name
Lake County Public Health Services
Department
Type
DUNS #
City
Lakeport
State
CA
Country
United States
Zip Code
95453