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.
Retail Flexible Funding Model (RFFM) Grant Program Now Open
In collaboration with the National Environmental Health Association (NEHA), the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) Office of Regulatory Affairs is pleased to announce that registration for the Retail Flexible Funding Model (RFFM) Grant Program is now open. Grant applications will be accepted from September 9 through November 15, 2021. State, local, tribal, and territorial (SLTT) retail food regulatory programs may register and apply for funding.
To learn more about the RFFM Grant Program, please view our YouTube video.
FDA Retail Program Standards Self-Assessment and Verification Audit Workshops
FDA is partnering with the National Environmental Health Association (NEHA) to present two Retail Food Regulatory Program Standards Self-Assessment and Verification Audit Workshops in 2022:
- May 24-26, 2022, Tampa, FL near Tampa International Airport (Aloft Tampa Midtown)
- June 26-28, 2022, Spokane, WA as a preconference workshop at the NEHA 2022 Annual Educational Conference (AEC) and Exhibition (Davenport Grand, Autograph Collection)
FDA is partnering with the National Environmental Health Association (NEHA) to present two Virtual Instructor Led Retail Food Regulatory Program Standards Self-Assessment and Verification Audit Workshops in 2022:
- May 31—June 3, 2022 (11:00 AM – 5:00 PM EST Daily)
- August 9—12, 2022 (11:00 AM – 5:00 PM EST Daily)
FDA Retail Program Standards Self Assessment / Verification Audit Courses Available Online
The FDA is excited to announce the availability of FDA Retail Food Program Standards Self-Assessment/Verification Audit Courses!
As part of the FDA’s commitment to provide training to those individuals conducting self-assessments and verification audits of the FDA Retail Food Program Standards, we will be offering online self-guided courses.
The Retail Program Standards serve as a guide to regulatory retail food program managers in the design and management of a retail food regulatory program and provide a means of recognition for those programs that meet these standards. The Retail Program Standards are designed to help food regulatory programs enhance the services they provide to the public by
- Identifying program areas where an agency can have the greatest impact on retail food safety
- Promoting wider application of effective risk-factor intervention strategies
- Assisting in identifying program areas most in need of additional attention
- Providing information needed to justify maintenance or increase in program budgets
- Leading to innovations in program implementation and administration
- Improving industry and consumer confidence in food protection programs by enhancing uniformity within and between regulatory agencies
These Retail Program Standards courses below are now open for registration and additional courses are scheduled to be added soon. The FDA will send out additional updates as more courses become available.
- An introduction to the Program Standards and the Administrative Procedures (Prerequisite to the other 9 courses) *AVAILABLE NOW
- Standard 1: Regulatory Foundation *COMING SOON
- Standard 2: Trained Regulatory Staff *COMING SOON
- Standard 3: Inspection Program Based on HACCP Principles *AVAILABLE NOW
- Standard 4: Uniform Inspection Program *AVAILABLE NOW
- Standard 5: Foodborne Illness and Food Defense Preparedness and Response *COMING SOON
- Standard 6: Compliance and Enforcement *COMING SOON
- Standard 7: Industry and Community Relations *COMING SOON
- Standard 8: Program Support and Resources *COMING SOON
- Standard 9: Program Assessment *COMING SOON
Detailed information regarding course descriptions, course objectives, target audience, course prerequisites, and class schedule is available on the ORAU Portal. If you have questions about the FDA Retail Program Standards, please contact an FDA Retail Food Specialist.
Please visit the FDA Retail Food Protection Web for information about the FDA Program Standards.
Please contact your FDA Retail Food Specialists with questions.
Information about the Voluntary National Retail Food Regulatory Program Standards (Retail Program Standards)
- Webinar Recording: Two Local Health Departments' Approach to Meeting Standards 3 and 6
This session focused on Retail Program Standards 3 (Inspection Program Based on HACCP Principles) and 6 (Compliance and Enforcement). Presenters from local jurisdictions described the relationship between the two standards and how they have worked to conform to the Standard requirements, and they shared tips and resources they have learned from the process.
- Impact of the NACCHO Retail Program Standards Mentorship Program on Retail Food Regulatory Programs – Report
- Accomplishments of the FDA and NACCHO Retail Program Standards Mentorship Program – Fact sheet
- Voluntary National Retail Food Regulatory Program Standards November 2019
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 April 2022
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.
- Crosswalk on Public Health Accreditation and Retail Program Standards
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.
Links to Other Standards
- Egg Regulatory Program Standards (ERPS)
The Egg Regulatory Program Standards provide a framework for state programs with responsibility for oversight of eggs and egg products. The program standards are designed to integrate the regulatory activities of partner agencies into an efficient and effective process for improving egg safety in the U.S.
- Animal Feed Regulatory Program Standards (AFRPS)
The feed standards establish a uniform foundation for the design and management of state programs responsible for the regulation of animal feed.
- Manufactured Food Regulatory Program Standards (MFRPS)
The Manufactured Food Regulatory Program Standards are a set of standards developed by the FDA, with input from state program managers, that can be used by the states as a guide for continuous improvement for state food manufacturing programs.
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