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Advancing Conformance with the FDA Retail Program Standards in Yellowstone County

Investigators
Tapia, Marilyn
Institutions
Yellowstone City-County Health Department
Start date
2012
End date
2017
Objective

The purpose of this project is to decrease the incidence of foodborne illness in Yellowstone County with efficient and effective use of public resources. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that foodborne illness sickens 1 in 6 Americans each year. The occurrence of foodborne illness, however, is grossly underreported, and therefore an unreliable measurement of the effectiveness of food safety programs. The risk factors that contribute to foodborne illness as identified by the CDC are more readily measured and can be used as a program measure.

Our project proposes is to accomplish the following goals:

  1. To identify foodborne illness risk factors in priority order and develop strategies to reduce their occurrence.
  2. To evaluate trends over time to determine whether progress is being made toward reduction the occurrence of foodborne illness risk factors.
  3. To increase the conformance of our food safety program with the FDA Voluntary National Retail Regulatory Program Standards.

The initial phase of the project will be to collect baseline data on the occurrence of risk factors in fast food and full service restaurants, delis, school cafeterias, hospitals, and nursing homes. These risk factors will be prioritized by frequency and strategies planned to reduce their occurrence. Plans will be implemented through years 2, 3 and 4 of the project. Interventions may include food safety training, public campaigns and web-based instruction. Plans will also be implemented to train the Food Safety Inspection Officers (FSIOs) in inspection techniques and compliance skills. These will uniformly be tailored to address the most prevalent risk factors identified. As a final phase in this five year cycle, data will be collected and analyzed a second time to measure our progress and guide further work. The Food Safety Program in Yellowstone County is guided by the mission of RiverStone Health to "Improve Life, Health, and Safety" in our community. By bringing our program into greater conformance with the Retail Program Standards, we expect to achieve a reduction in the occurrence of risk factors for foodborne illness in our community, to strengthen our relationships with the retail food industry, and to use our resources more efficiently and effectively.

Funding Source
Food and Drug Administration
Project source
View this project
Project number
4U18FD004682-04
Categories
Natural Toxins
Bacterial Pathogens