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U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

Food

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Voluntary National Retail Food Regulatory Program Standards - January 2011 - Standard 7

Industry and Community Relations

This standard applies to industry and community outreach activities utilized by a regulatory program to solicit a broad spectrum input into a comprehensive regulatory food program, communicate sound public health food safety principles, and foster and recognize community initiatives focused on the reduction of foodborne disease risk factors.

Requirement Summary

The jurisdiction documents participation in forums that foster communication and information exchange among the regulators, industry and consumer representatives.

The jurisdiction documents outreach activities that provide educational information on food safety.

Description of Requirement

  1. Industry and Consumer Interaction

    The jurisdiction sponsors or actively participates in meetings such as food safety task forces, advisory boards or advisory committees. These forums shall present information on food safety, food safety strategies and interventions to control risk factors. Offers of participation must be extended to industry and consumer representatives.

  2. Educational Outreach

    Outreach encompasses industry and consumer groups as well as media and elected officials. Outreach efforts may include industry recognition programs, web sites, newsletters, FightBAC campaigns, food safety month activities, food worker training, school-based activities, customer surveys or other activities that increase awareness of the risk factors and control methods to prevent foodborne illness. Outreach activities may also include posting inspection information on a web site or in the press.

Agency participation in at least one activity in each of the above categories annually is sufficient to meet this standard.

Outcome

The desired outcome of this standard is enhanced communication with industry and consumers through forums designed to solicit input to improve the food safety program. A further outcome is the reduction of risk factors through educational outreach and cooperative efforts with stakeholders.

Documentation

Quality records needed for this standard reflect activities over the most recent five-year period and include:

  1. 1. Minutes, agendas or other records that forums were conducted, 2. For formal, recurring meetings, such documents as by-laws, charters, membership criteria and lists, frequency of meetings, roles, etc., 3. Documentation of performed actions or activities designed with input from industry and consumers to improve the control of risk factors, or 4. Documentation of food safety educational efforts.

Statements of policies and procedures may suffice if activities are continuous, and documenting multiple incidents would be cumbersome, i.e., recognition provided to establishments with exemplary records or an on-going web site.