The Operational Plan is a strategic plan that emphasizes outcomes, customer satisfaction, and cost-effectiveness. A Performance Plan defines implementation of an Operational Plan. It identifies performance goals reflecting annual targets for achieving the two program outcomes. The performance goals are expressed in terms of performance indicators for measuring progress against a historical baseline. Several performance goals may be established for each program outcome defined. The Performance Plan provides specific steps to be accomplished during the year to bring the organization closer to the strategic goal. A performance plan presents how the organization will achieve its goals, looks at operational processes, resources, external influencing factors, validation, and verification.
Retail food program activities must be viewed in terms of their contribution to the accomplishment of a "measurable outcome". This Performance Plan has identified two major outcomes for the National Retail Food Program: 1) Managerial Control of the CDC-identified risk factors, and 2) National Program Uniformity. This Performance Plan is divided into sections as follows: program outcomes; performance goals, indicators, and activities that are listed in the Annexes; and program administration.
(1) Managerial Control of CDC-Identified Risk Factors
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has identified several major groups of risk factors as contributors to investigated and confirmed foodborne outbreaks. The Food Code addresses controls for these risk factors. It further establishes 5 key public health interventions to protect consumer health, specifically, demonstration of knowledge; employee health controls; controlling hands as a vehicle of contamination; time and temperature parameters for controlling pathogens; and the consumer advisory.
A reduction in the occurrence of risk factors will have a direct impact on the number of foodborne illnesses that occur. Many of the performance goals and supporting activities included in this performance plan are directed at achieving active managerial control of these risk factors on a continuous basis in retail food establishments. Efforts have been undertaken to assess the effectiveness of the changes in the frequency at which the CDC-identified risk factors occur in retail food establishments. These changes can be measured and used as a “performance indicator” to document the effectiveness of program activities and the ultimate accomplishment of performance goals. The targeted improvement rate is to reduce by 25% the occurrences of CDC-identified risk factors that cause foodborne illness by October 1, 2010.
CDC- Indentified Risk Factors 4
- Improper holding temperatures
- Inadequate cooking
- Poor personal hygiene
- Contaminated equipment
- Foods from unsafe sources
(2) National Program Uniformity
There are approximately 3,000 federal, state, and local regulatory agencies with the direct responsibility for monitoring the 1 million plus retail establishments in the country.5 It is virtually impossible to achieve the goal of reducing the factors that cause foodborne illness nationwide without a national program standard for regulatory retail food programs. The National Voluntary Retail Food Regulatory Program Standards will provide a roadmap for the regulatory agencies to focus resources on the reduction of risk factors and prevention of foodborne illness. Tracking and recognition of programs meeting these national standards will be used as performance indicators. Standards have been developed for the following nine program areas:
- Regulatory Foundation (substantially equivalent to the FDA Food Code)
- Trained Regulatory Staff.
- Inspection Program Based on HACCP Principles.
- Uniform Inspection Program.
- Foodborne Illness Investigation and Response.
- Compliance and Enforcement.
- Industry and Community Relations.
- Program Support and Resources.
- Program Assessment.
Discussion of the Integral Relationship among the Performance Goals and Their Related Activities:
By the very nature of FDA’s supportive role in a cooperative program where direct regulation of the industry is carried out by non-FDA retail food agencies, the bulk of FDA’s activities are indirect. The consultative efforts of the Agency are often delivered through a variety of indirect support activities.
FDA directly impacts the accomplishment of performance goals (described below) by developing, providing, and marketing frameworks, including specific tools, guidance, templates, and training for regulatory retail food agencies. The actual realization of the goals is only achieved by the collective, coordinated efforts of FDA’s foundational activities and the jurisdictions’ incorporation of complementary activities in the design and implementation of their programs. There are some specific activities that target corollary performance goals but many activities conducted by Headquarters and Field staffs are broadly based and address various dimensions of the performance goals. The goals are interrelated and intertwined, as are the associated activities that lead to their achievement. For example, the Program Standards set forth the overarching program infrastructure and specific contributory mechanisms (in addition to conducting a baseline) for achieving the ultimate goal of improving public health, a focal point of which is risk factor reduction.
FDA routinely supports its initiatives and regulatory agencies’ programs by providing technical expertise, operational consultation, and collaboration via workshops, task forces, regional seminars, satellite broadcasts, monies for initiatives, training, etc. These activities often encompass broad agendas and transcend a single performance goal.
4 Bean, N.H. and P.M. Griffin, 1990. Foodborne disease outbreaks in the United States, 1973-1987: pathogens, vehicles, and trends. J. Food Prot. 53:804-817 and Bryan, F.L., 1979. Prevention of foodborne diseases in food service establishments. J. Environ. Health 41:198-206.