In 2012, the City of Berkeley Division of Environmental Health completed an updated self assessment of the retail food safety program using the Voluntary National Retail Food Regulatory Program Standards (Retail Program Standards) and identified areas for improvement. In summary, the assessment identified the need for a written program plan with administrative policies and procedures. This project will focus resources to develop a Retail Food Safety Program Plan to meet Standard No. 2 (Trained Regulatory Personnel), Standard No. 3 (Inspection Program Based on HACCP Principles), Standard No. 4 (Uniform Inspection Program), Standard No. 5 (Foodborne Illness Investigation, Food Security, and Response), Standard No. 6 (Compliance and Enforcement) and Standard No. 7 (Industry and Community Relations). The first year of the project will focus on meeting Standard No. 2 by conducting a baseline survey of all retail food facilities, developing an inspection program based on Hazardous Analysis Critical Control Point Principles, and developing a training program plan to standardize inspections. The second year of the project will focus on meeting Standard No. 5 by developing and exercising a Foodborne illness and Food Security Preparedness Response Plan. The response plan will be amended based on the evaluation of the exercise. The third year of the project will focus on completing Standard No. 7 by conducting a community food survey and developing a community relations program. The fourth year of the project will focus on completing Standard No.4 by developing and implementing a quality assurance program. The fifth year of the project will focus on completing Standard No. 6 by developing a Compliance and Enforcement plan and completing FDA Retail Program Standards verification audits.
The goal of the project is to develop a Retail Food Safety Program Plan that complies with the FDA Voluntary National Retail Program Standards to reduce the occurrence of CDC risk factors linked to foodborne illness and improve the effectiveness of the local regulatory program. Having a comprehensive plan in place will improve program effectiveness, promote active managerial control by food facility operators and will reduce the incidence of CDC risk factors. This will lead to fewer cases of foodborne illness thereby improving public health outcomes.