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Regional Food Safety Permitting and Inspection in A Home Rule State - Objective Is to Create An Enhanced Regional Local Regulatory Environment For Retail Food Operations in Nine Or More Communities.


Berkshire Public Health Alliance Project AbstractMassachusetts is a home rule state with no county government. Each communityregardless of size is responsible for all public health mandates, including food safety. TheBerkshire Public Health Alliance (Alliance) is a collaboration among 23 small Berkshire,Massachusetts communities, their Boards of Health and Berkshire Regional PlanningCommission (BRPC), the administrative and fiscal host, which have signed an Inter-Municipal Agreement to leverage resources and share staff, programs and grants. The goalis for Alliance communities to work towards meeting all nine Retail Program Standards.This project will focus on improving food safety by meeting Retail Program Standards #1:Regulatory Foundation; #3: Inspection Program based on HACCP Principles; and #4:Uniform Inspection Program, although elements of all nine Standards will be essential tomeeting these three Standards. The Project Objectives are to:1. Establish a common operating picture and regulatory foundation among Alliance communities consistent with Massachusetts State law and Retail Program Standards.2. Create a regional, coordinated, uniform online permitting program for retail food that is consistent with Massachusetts State law and Retail Program Standards.3. Create a regional uniform food safety inspection program based on HACCP principles that is consistent with Massachusetts State law and Retail Program Standards.This project will focus on creating a uniform, regional, online permitting and inspectionprogram based on HACCP principles. Food safety is a priority in all Alliance communitiesas Berkshire County is a major holiday and children's camp destination. Online permittingand inspections projects help ensure a uniform, compliant food safety program. Byconnecting and coordinating food permitting and inspection programs in 23 small, ruraltowns; the region will collectively be able to meet Retail Program Standards to improveregional food safety and ensure the public health. In addition to online permitting andinspections, the project will work to train local food inspectors to a uniform standard andensure consistency by rotating inspection staff working in each community among allparticipating communities. An Alliance Sanitarian and a FDA standardized foodinspector/trainer will supervise staff training and inspections.

Kittross, Laura
Berkshire Regional Planning Commission
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