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Food Protection Rapid Response Team and Program Infrastructure Improvement Implem

Callan, Debbra
Texas Department of State Health Services
Start date
End date

PROJECT SUMMARY/ABSTRACT/MILESTONES: The Texas Department of Health Services (DSHS) meets all criteria for eligibility of funding under this grant. The program serves as the state's manufactured food regulatory program and has a current FDA food safety inspection contract. In 2009 the Food Safety& Security Program was awarded funding under Grant #1U18FD003835-01 (Food Protection Rapid Response Team and Program Infrastructure Prototype Project).Funding received was used to establishment the Texas Rapid Response Team (TRRT),comprised of DSHS, Office of Texas State Chemist (OTSC) and FDA Dallas District Office (DALDO). The TRRT is built upon the Incident Command System (ICS) structure, with a unified command structure with DSHS, DALDO, and OTSC staff collaboratively manning all positions. Federal, state and local agencies have all played a role in past food-borne illness responses, however, the ICS structure for the TRRT has greatly enhanced these efforts and led to significant improvement in our response and mitigation efforts. The TRRT has had one full activation, successfully tracing Salmonella Agona to Mexican papayas last summer. One Table Top exercise has been completed with another full exercise scheduled for the fall of 2012. All team members have been through the appropriate Incident Command System (ICS) training; Position Specific training will beheld for the Command Staff the winder of 2013. The TRRT Working Group, comprised of the DSHS Food Safety Officer, the TRRT Program Director, the DALDO Emergency Response Coordinator and the OTSC Program Director is in the process of writing our Response Operating Guidelines (ROG) as well as Standard Operations Procedures(SOPs) for training, communications, activation/deactivation, with many other SOPs under development. The funding was also utilized to perform a self-assessment of the DSHS Manufactured Food Regulatory Program in order to develop an improvement plan as needed to enable DSHS to fully comply with the ten standards (MFRPS).As we continue to document our hard work and implement improvement plans, we expect the RRT concept to render even better results with the continued efforts of this upcoming grant year.

Funding Source
Food and Drug Administration
Project source
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Project number
Natural Toxins
Bacterial Pathogens