Foodborne illness and injury cause significant burdens to individuals as well as establishments and departments that investigate the illness. In order to reduce foodborne illnesses, consistent and effective standards must be in place. The Pueblo City-County Health Department (PCCHD) proposes to adopt all of the Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) Voluntary National Retail Food Regulatory Program Standards. In the process of adopting the stated standards, PCCHD will continuously improve the quality of services provided, the efficiency and effectiveness of retail food inspection program and staff members, and align with the national food safety system. Successful completion of intervention strategies will achieve a reduction in risk factors associated with foodborne illness, increase in education levels of staff members as well as the community and businesses, and incite a reduction in the occurrence of foodborne illnesses and injuries. Innovative intervention strategies will be utilized to achieve these stated objectives and active managerial control. Additionally, strategies will involve creating a Foodborne Illness Task Force, updating internal policies, procedures, and systems to adequately track compliance and illnesses, creating innovative trainings for retail food establishments, recognizing managers of retail food establishments and relationship building. PCCHD can serve as a resource after successful adoption of the standards and interventions, to surrounding counties interested in adopting the Voluntary National Retail Food Regulatory Program Standards. PCCHD's adoption of these standards will help to promote uniformity within and between regulatory agencies. Work to achieve these outcomes will rely on partnerships and cooperation from managers involved with retail food establishments, PCCHD employees, community organizations dealing with food safety, as well as surrounding counties. PCCHD's mission is to promote the health and protect the environment of the people of Pueblo County. Successful adoption of the FDA National Standards will allow PCCHD to achieve this mission by reducing the number of foodborne illnesses and associated health consequences. PCCHD is committed to implementing quality, efficient and effective programs and interventions related to retail food inspections in addition to continuously improving the retail food inspection program, staff members, and systems. Adoption of the FDA National Standards will help ensure PCCHD's program achieves these aims.
Achieving conformance with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration Voluntary National Retail Food Regulatory Program Standards will increase the Pueblo City-County Health Department's ability to focus on the reduction of risk factors known to cause or contribute to foodborne illness and to the promotion of active managerial control. Minimizing the five foodborne illness risk factors and increasing managerial control will reduce or eliminate the occurrence of illnesses, injury and deaths from food produced at the retail level, thus protecting the health of Pueblo County residents and visitors.