The NCDA&CS Food and Drug Protection Division proposes a 3-year project to strengthen our Rapid Response Team which has, since 2009, been effectively operated by the Division. The project will improve our responsiveness to all hazards in the food supply system by reaffirming our commitment to the RRT Concept. The Food and Drug Protection Division is comprised of a Food Program, Feed Program, Drug Program, Grade "A" Milk Program and Laboratory. The NC RRT consists of a multi-disciplinary team with 31 core Division employees which includes Management, Food Regulatory Supervisors and Specialists, Dairy and Egg Specialists, Feed Field Inspector, Subject Matter Experts in Microbiology and Chemistry, Programmer, Information and Communication Specialist, Food and Feed Compliance Officers and Outreach Coordinator. NC realized that there was a need to integrate the RRT concept into the fabric of the Division's daily operations. The role of the RRT member is to mitigate, prevent and resolve food emergencies within the State of North Carolina. Members will work cooperatively with partner agencies and communicate effectively to reduce risk to the public. The progress NC has made to 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 a national leader. The plan for the proposed project period is to hire an Epidemiologist I, an Epi Training 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 FDA partners. 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 includes hosting ICS training, internally and externally to the program. The Industry and Communications Specialist II is to develop internal policies and procedures, ensuring that all documents for RRT members are current and fit for use. In the coming three years, the NC RRT intends to meet goals and objectives for Mentorship, RRT Capability Data Capture and Assessment, Communication, Post Response and Prevention, RRT Maturity and Maintenance and Sustainability.
- Public Health Relevance Statement The NCDA&CS Food and Drug Protection Division strives to protect the food supply and public health through education and outreach, inter-agency cooperation and communication, as well as by providing comprehensive manufacturing and retail inspections. Its implementation has greatly enhanced North Carolina's ability to prevent, detect, respond, mitigate and recover from occasions where our food supply, human or animal, intentional or unintentional, was compromised.