The Voluntary National Retail Food Regulatory Program Standards (Retail Program Standards) are a set of Food and Drug Administration (FDA) guidelines that provide a science-based framework for self-assessment and continuous improvement of retail food regulatory programs. FDA has funded multiple cooperative agreement programs for regulatory programs to progress toward conformance with the Retail Program Standards. NACCHO’s study, featured in the November 2023 edition of National Environmental Health Association’s Journal of Environmental Health, analyzed 770 local health departments (LHDs) enrolled in the Retail Program Standards from 2002–2021 to:
1) assess if the program’s current guidelines are feasible for LHDs and
2) evaluate the effect of FDA cooperative agreement programs on conformance with the Retail Program Standards.
Results indicate that LHDs are submitting necessary documentation close to the prescribed deadlines in the last 10 years. Grant-funded programs were shown to significantly improve the odds of achieving conformance with the Retail Program Standards in both self-reported and third-party audited submissions. Our study reports the first evaluation of FDA grant-funded programs aimed at improving conformance with the Retail Program Standards and highlights the importance of continued and sustainable funding for this work.
Access the journal article on NEHA’s website at neha.org/FDA-Funded-Programs-Conformance.
Adams N, Puwalski S, Papagni N, Leep C, McCall TC, Wanucha D (2023) Evaluating the Impact of Food and Drug Administration-Funded Cooperative Agreement Programs on Conformance With the Voluntary National Retail Food Regulatory Program Standards. Journal of Environmental Health 86:4.