Voluntary National Retail Food Regulatory Program Standards

Evaluating and Measuring Program Effectiveness

The Voluntary National Retail Food Regulatory Program Standards (Retail Program Standards) define what constitutes a highly effective and responsive program for the regulation of foodservice and retail food establishments. They begin by providing a foundation and system upon which all regulatory programs can build through a continuous improvement process. The Retail Program Standards encourage regulatory agencies to improve and build upon existing programs. Further, they provide a framework designed to accommodate both traditional and emerging approaches to food safety. The Retail Program Standards are intended to reinforce proper sanitation (good retail practices) and operational and environmental prerequisite programs while encouraging regulatory agencies and industry to focus on the factors that cause and contribute to foodborne illness, with the ultimate goal of reducing the occurrence of those factors.

In support of this goal, FDA works cooperatively with our state, local, territorial and tribal partners using a risk-based approach to leverage limited resources. The Retail Program Standards represent an important component of a comprehensive strategic approach to help ensure the safety and security of the food supply at the retail level.

Upcoming Events

Information about the Voluntary National Retail Food Regulatory Program Standards (Retail Program Standards)

  • Voluntary National Retail Food Regulatory Program Standards September 2015
    This page provides a copy of each standard, along with corresponding forms and worksheets.
  • Listing of Jurisdictions Enrolled in the Voluntary National Retail Food Regulatory Program Standards October 2015
    This page provides information about jurisdictions that have enrolled in the Retail Program Standards. The information is updated on a quarterly basis to reflect enrollment changes such as new enrollments, as well as to recognize achievements made by current enrollees.
  • Clearinghouse Work Group Questions and Answers for Implemented 2011 Standards (PDF - 697KB) April 2016
    The Clearinghouse Work Group is an ad hoc group composed of regulators from state, local, and tribal jurisdictions representing the 5 FDA regions and the Conference for Food Protection’s Program Standards Committee. The members work with FDA staff to answer questions about the Retail Program Standards.
  • Crosswalk on Public Health Accreditation and Retail Program Standards disclaimer icon
    This document provides an overview of the similarities between the Retail Program Standards and the PHAB accreditation process and details the connections between the criteria that apply within each initiative. The detailed crosswalk provides specific examples of where documentation generated when implementing the Retail Program Standards can be used to satisfy documentation requirements associated with the accreditation process. This document will assist those who pursue conformance with the Retail Program Standards and PHAB Accreditation concurrently, without duplicating resources or effort.
  • Sharing Sessions about the Retail Program Standards disclaimer icon
    The sharing sessions provide an opportunity for regulatory partners to share and discuss innovative practices used to reduce the incidence of foodborne illness, improve service to stakeholders, and continuously improve retail food regulatory programs.

Links to Other Standards



Receive updates on topics related to retail food protection, including: Food Code (and the Food Code Reference System), Program Standards, the FDA Retail Risk Factor Study and more.

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Page Last Updated: 03/07/2017
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