If this cooperative agreement is awarded, the Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC)will strive to maintain its status of full implementation of all ten Manufactured Food Regulatory ProgramStandards (MFRPS) and, in collaboration with the South Carolina Department of Agriculture (SCDA), willdevelop and maintain a Rapid Response Team (RRT). These overarching, broad objectives are essential for therealization of DHEC?s visions: utilizing standardized approaches for food industry regulation, protecting publichealth, and securing the safety of South Carolina?s food supply. DHEC has achieved full implementation of all ten MFRPS and the prior deficiency hindering conformancewith Standard 6 has been corrected. During this cooperative agreement, DHEC will be completing maintenancetasks for each standard. These routine tasks will include, but are not limited to, self-assessments, protocolrevisions, continuing education, monitoring inspections and audits, identifying chronic violations and violators,and attending outreach activity events. All identified gaps in conformance will be swiftly addressed. DHEC and SCDA will collaborate with the Food and Drug Administration Atlanta District Office, SouthCarolina Meat-Poultry Inspection Department, and SC Emergency Management Division to build a multi-agency, multi-disciplinary team to respond to human and animal food (HAF) incidents. DHEC and SCDA RRTCoordinators will work together to convene a workgroup of key personnel from both agencies and complete aninitial capability assessment using a Capability Assessment Tool (CAT). Shortcomings identified in the CAT willbe addressed and a strategic plan will be developed for both agencies. SC RRT Coordinators will use relevant concepts from the RRT Best Practices Manual to build RRT capacityand framework for developing response capability. Monthly in-person meetings between the DHEC and SCDARRT Coordinators and quarterly meetings with key agency personnel will ensure that collaboration andcommunication between the agencies occurs throughout the year, as opposed to only in response to HAFincidents and outbreaks. Beginning in Year 2 of the cooperative agreement, SC RRT will conduct at least oneannual exercise to assess the capability of the RRT partners in response to a HAF incident using IncidentCommand System (ICS) principles, including timely notification to the FDA and other state partners andimplementation of effective control measures. An after action report (AAR) will be used to identify policies andprocedures that require improvement. Key personnel from each agency will enhance their knowledge and skillsby completing FDA ORAU courses, developing proficiency in environmental sampling and tracebackprocedures, and attending relevant meetings and workshops. During the maintenance phase, funding for keypersonnel will be transitioned from full-grant to partial-grant through supplementation of state funds and/oralternate funding source(s); this funding transition promotes sustainability of the SC RRT for DHEC and SCDA.