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Continuation of the Cooperative Agreement between U.S. FDA and SCDHEC to advance conformance with Voluntary National Retail Food Regulatory Program Standards.

Craig, Sandra
South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control
Start date
End date
Getting awarded the Advancing Conformance with the Voluntary National Retail Food Regulatory ProgramStandards (VNRFRPS) Cooperative Agreement will allow the South Carolina Department of Health andEnvironmental Control (SCDHEC) to continue to:1. Provide resources to program areas where the greatest impact on retail food safety is being made;2. Continue to implement risk factor intervention strategies while looking for methods to reach wideraudience/application/use;3. Identify program areas which are nearing conformance with a Standard, and make efforts to be ready for a validation audit;4. Maintain the Standards that we have already met, and bring them back into conformance as FDA Food Code (Food Code) updates are made;5. Continue to find new ways to improve program efficacy and best use of program resources; and6. Establish and maintain good relationships with both consumers and industry personnel. This can be accomplished through uniform inspections with a ?partnership? approach.In July 2017, a full-time VNRFRPS coordinator was hired to manage the activities and responsibilities relatedto the Retail Food Standards program. Since hiring the VNRFRPS coordinator, Standards? criteria have beenheld to the appropriate, stringent requirements of the Food Code and other guidance. A new VNRFRPScoordinator was hired in December 2019, to continue the progress made by the previous coordinator whoresigned from the position in August 2019. The previous coordinator remains a member of the DHEC staffwhich allows frequent communication between both employees to ensure a seamless transition for the RetailFood Standards program.Upon review of the SCDHEC Strategic Action plan, it can be seen that conformance percentages temporarilydeclined for several of the retail standards in the August 31, 2017, VNRFRPS review. This was becauseassessments performed prior to the hiring of a full-time coordinator were of lower quality than the assessmentswe conduct today with a full-time coordinator. Self-assessments and reviews done by the VNRFRPScoordinator will be more extensive, exhaustive, and critical than those conducted prior to July 2017, to ensureaccurate conformance reporting.The VNRFRPS coordinator will continue to be responsible for satisfying all requirements of this CooperativeAgreement, such as:1. Completing the Mid-Year and Final Progress Reports in a timely fashion;2. Updating status reports on the hiring and training of food program personnel;3. Acquiring updated funding certifications and corresponding with SCDHEC Bureau of Finance in regard to VNRFRPS needs; and4. Developing and maintaining a strategic plan that accurately reflects when specific objectives and tasks have been, or will be, completed and/or implemented and when new objectives and tasks are identified to advance conformance with the Retail Program Standards.
Funding Source
Food and Drug Administration
Project source
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Project number
Bacterial Pathogens
Legislation and Regulations