The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is partnering with the National Environmental Health Association (NEHA) to present a Retail Food Regulatory Program Standards Self-Assessment and Verification Audit Workshop on July 13–15, 2024, in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania as a pre-conference workshop for the NEHA Annual Educational Conference. Registration is required.
The Standards Self-Assessment and Verification Audit Workshop is designed to provide participants with an overview of the Voluntary National Retail Food Regulatory Program Standards (Retail Food Program Standards) criteria and an in-depth understanding of the self-assessment and verification audit processes, worksheets, and forms. The two-and-a-half-day workshop will enable participants to:
- Identify the requirements for each of the nine Retail Food Program Standards
- Explore various approaches to meeting the criteria within the Retail Food Program Standards
- Use the Retail Food Program Standards worksheets and forms to complete a verification audit of a jurisdiction’s self-assessment against the criteria contained in the standards
- Use the worksheets and forms to electronically compile and maintain results.
The Retail Food Program Standards serve as a guide to program managers in the design and management of regulatory retail food programs, provide a means of recognition for programs that meet the standards, and are designed to help programs enhance the services they provide to the public. When applied in the intended manner, the Retail Food Program Standards:
- Identify program areas where an agency can have the greatest impact on retail food safety
- Promote wider application of effective risk factor intervention strategies
- Assist in identifying program areas most in need of additional attention
- Provide information needed to justify maintenance or increase in program budgets
- Lead to innovations in program implementation and administration
- Improve industry and consumer confidence in food protection programs by enhancing uniformity within and between regulatory agencies.
Participants should be program managers or those directly responsible for conducting program self-assessments and preparing for verification audits. Interactive workshop exercises have been developed for each of the nine Retail Food Program Standards and are designed to provide participants with hands-on experience in preparation for conducting a self-assessment or a verification audit.
Participants should have a good understanding of the criteria contained in each of the nine Retail Program Standards. An orientation on using FDA’s Retail Program Standards website, including the downloadable files and worksheets, will be provided at the workshop.