Impact of the NACCHO Retail Program Standards Mentorship Program on Retail Food Regulatory Programs

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The US Food and Drug Administration's (FDA's) Voluntary National Retail Food Regulatory Program Standards (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.”1 The Retail Program Standards aims to support retail regulatory agencies in preventing foodborne illnesses and deaths in local communities across the United States by providing the sector with the foundation for the continuous improvement of food safety regulatory programs. In addition, the advancement of processes driving the way foods are prepared and served within the nation's food industry assists in the fight against foodborne illnesses.
There are 9 Retail Program Standards, including the following:
Since 1999, the FDA has strongly encouraged jurisdictions that regulate food service and retail food establishments to enroll in the Retail Program Standards. Today, the FDA provides resources and guidance to more than 770 jurisdictions, including more than 600 local health departments that are implementing the Retail Program Standards.
Local health departments play a major role in ensuring the food people eat every day is safe. At least 77% of the 2800 local health departments in the United States educate, inspect, or license retail food establishments.

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