The NCDA&CS Food and Drug Protection Division proposes a 3-year project to strengthen ourRapid Response Team which has, since 2009, been effectively operated by the Division. Theproject will improve our responsiveness to all hazards in the food supply system by reaffirmingour commitment to the RRT Concept. The Food and Drug Protection Division is comprised of aFood Program, Feed Program, Drug Program, Grade 'A' Milk Program and Laboratory. The NCRRT consists of a multi-disciplinary team with 31 core Division employees which includesManagement, Food Regulatory Supervisors and Specialists, Dairy and Egg Specialists, Feed FieldInspector, Subject Matter Experts in Microbiology and Chemistry, Programmer, Information andCommunication Specialist, Food and Feed Compliance Officers and Outreach Coordinator. NCrealized that there was a need to integrate the RRT concept into the fabric of the Division'sdaily operations. The role of the RRT member is to mitigate, prevent and resolve foodemergencies within the State of North Carolina. Members will work cooperatively with partneragencies and communicate effectively to reduce risk to the public. The progress NC has madeto this point allows us to smoothly transition into broadening our response capabilities,enhancing our overall program and implementing strategies to move the program forward as anational leader. The plan for the proposed project period is to hire an Epidemiologist I, an EpiTraining Specialist (also an Epi I position) and an Information and Communication Specialist II.The role of the Epidemiologist (Epi) I will be to liaise both with our State Public Health and FDApartners. The Division's function for the Epi Training Specialist is to train NC RRT members,inter-agency partners, as well as other RRT and non-RRT states in a three-phase process.Another initiative the NC RRT intends to bring forward during the training phases includeshosting ICS training, internally and externally to the program. The Industry and CommunicationsSpecialist II is to develop internal policies and procedures, ensuring that all documents for RRTmembers are current and fit for use. In the coming three years, the NC RRT intends to meetgoals and objectives for Mentorship, RRT Capability Data Capture and Assessment,Communication, Post Response and Prevention, RRT Maturity and Maintenance andSustainability.
- Public Health Relevance StatementThe NCDA&CS Food and Drug Protection Division strives to protect the food supply and publichealth through education and outreach; inter-agency cooperation and communication; as well as byproviding comprehensive manufacturing and retail inspections. Its implementation has greatlyenhanced North Carolina's ability to prevent; detect; respond; mitigate and recover from occasionswhere our food supply; human or animal; intentional or unintentional; was compromised.