The mission of the Marion County Public Health Department (MCPHD) Food and Consumer Safety Department (FCSD) is to prevent food-related illnesses and improve food safety practices in Indianapolis/Marion County food establishments. MCPHD FCSD has programs and procedures in place that help ensure the safety of Indianapolis/Marion County residents and millions of visitors each year. MCPHD FCSD has made significant operational changes in an effort to meet criteria of the Voluntary National Retail Food Regulatory Program Standards (VNRFRPS), which support and guide the department's mission. The proposed project has the potential to make a significant public health impact, as well as support MCPHD's mission: To promote and protect the health of everyone in the community and provide healthcare to those who are underserved. MCPHD FCSD has necessary support from MCPHD leadership to continue pursuing VNRFRPS, and improve the overall MCPHD FCSD program. The primary goals of the proposed project are to: 1. Improve program areas that have high impact on food safety; 2. Control or eliminate risk factors associated with foodborne illness; 3. Develop new and innovative ways to address the challenges of retail food inspections; 4. Educate industry and consumers on the importance of food safety; and 5. Improve industry and consumer confidence in the services and enforcement provided. The VNRFRPS provides a clear outline to help organizations fulfill all program standards. MCPHD FCSD will develop and update policies and procedures and follow the outline set forth by the U.S. FDA in an effort to fulfill the proposed project goals.
The proposed project will enhance the programs and services provided by the Marion County Public Health Department Food and Consumer Safety Department. Work toward meeting the VNRFRPS will increase uniformity, boost consumer and industry confidence in the value of retail food establishment inspections, and reduce the occurrence of contributing risk factors associated with foodborne illness.