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Iowa Voluntary Retail Program Standards Conformance


As of July 1, 2012, the Department contracts with 24 local health departments toperform retail food licensing, inspections, and enforcement in 3 cities and 58 of Iowa's99 counties. The Department directly performs the retail inspections, licensing, andenforcement in 41 of 99 counties including state's most populous county Polk Countywhich includes Des Moines. The state directly inspects 39% of food establishments orapproximately 8,000 and the 24 local governments inspect 12,500. The Departmentcurrently employs 17 individuals that routinely complete retail food inspections. Thelocal health agencies employ over 50 additional inspectors who complete retail foodinspections. Since 2005, all Iowa jurisdictions providing licensing, inspections, andenforcement have used a single data system that includes licensing, mobile inspectionsvia tablet laptop computers, and a public access portal for inspection data. The system,while on the leading edge of technology for 2003-2005 when it was developed, hasoutlived is useful life. The system's platform is not compatible with current informationsystems. Implementation of a new computer can assist with the implementation andenhancement of virtually all of the standards, and will greatly enhance the quality ofretail food inspections in Iowa for all jurisdictions. Additionally, the Department will develop a series of videos that will featurecuisine, cooks and concepts that are specific to the culture/cuisine being prepared. Forexample, the Asian/Chinese Culture would feature specific foods where risks can occurwith Asian/Chinese cooks speaking in their respective language (traditional, simplified,etc.) and subtitles in English. These videos will be posted online and available to anyjurisdiction interested in using them. In addition, the major projects above the Department will also develop a series ofemergency response procedures related to common food emergencies. TheDepartment will also develop policies and procedures related to implementing thestandards. Overall with the implementation of the above activities, Iowa's retail foodprotection program will be greatly enhanced.

Mandernach, Steven
Iowa State Department of Inspections and Appeals
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