Food Safety and Defense

Foodborne illness in the United States is estimated to sicken 48 million people, cause more than 128,000 hospitalizations, and lead to 3,000 deaths every year. Hospitalizations due to foodborne illnesses are estimated to cost more than $3 billion dollars, and lost productivity is estimated to cost between $20 billion and $40 billion each year. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) estimates that foodborne illnesses are costing the United States economy more than $15.6 billion annually. NACCHO strives to support and work with local health departments to improve food safety and prevent foodborne illness.

See all of NACCHO's food safety resources for local health departments here.

Listen Now

COVID-19: Guidance for Agricultural Workers and Employers

This webinar recording highlights the CDC and OSHA Interim Guidance for Agricultural Workers and Employers.

Listen Now

COVID-19: Guidance for Agricultural Workers and Employers

I Stock 1220178053
  • Food Safety & Inspection

COVID-19 Impact on Local Retail Regulatory Food Safety...

The COVID-19 outbreak has affected the operations of health departments across...

May 26, 2020 | Amy Chang

COVID-19 Impact on Local Retail Regulatory Food Safety...

Environmental Health

NACCHO Retail Program Standards Mentorship Program

Learn more about this mentorship program.

Environmental Health

NACCHO Retail Program Standards Mentorship Program

Cifor Guidelines Front Matter 2Nd Ed Page 01

Environmental Health

The Council to Improve Foodborne Illness Outbreak Response

Working to improve methods to detect, investigate, control and prevent foodborne disease outbreaks.

Environmental Health

The Council to Improve Foodborne Illness Outbreak Response

NACCHO’s mentorship program supports local health departments pursuing the Food and Drug Administration’s Voluntary National Retail Food Regulatory Program Standards. The program provides opportunities for local health department staff to learn about the NACCHO Mentorship Program through active participation and training, to share experiences, tools and, and to support the ongoing effort to increase use of the standards nationwide. Local health departments seeking assistance are matched with seasoned peer mentors to help progress the work toward meeting the retail program standards while building sustained capacity within the health department. Mentors assist mentees in preparing self-assessments and verification audits and in developing improvement plans.

Learn more about the mentorship program.

For webinars related to the Retail Program Standards, go to the mentorship program webpage.

Specialized Food Processes - Charcuterie (July 2020)
Curing, smoking, and drying of meat, poultry, and fish are considered specialized processes under the U.S. Food and Drug Administration Model Food Code.
This virtual online sharing session focuses on the science and proper implementation of charcuterie and was presented by Dr. Brian Nummer from the Utah State University Food Safety Extension.

COVID-19: Guidance for Agricultural Workers and Employers and Testing Strategy for COVID-19 in High-Density Critical Infrastructure Workplaces (June 2020)

This webinar highlighted the CDC and OSHA Interim Guidance for Agricultural Workers and Employers, and the CDC’s Testing Strategy for Coronavirus (COVID-19) in High-Density Critical Infrastructure Workplaces, both of which are particularly relevant given the importance of these essential workers, and as the summer growing season begins.

COVID-19 and Food Safety (April 2020)
This webinar featured a panel of food safety experts that presented on food safety considerations during the COVID-19 pandemic. Topics that will be addressed include what is known about basic food safety and contact surface sanitation issues and what local retail food regulators can do to minimize the impact of COVID-19 in food establishments. Participants had the opportunity to exchange ideas with their peers virtually throughout the session and ask questions. Presenters included Dr. Brian Nummer from the Utah State University Food Safety Extension, Ben Chapman from North Carolina University, and Dr. Donald Schaffner from Rutgers University.

A Multidisciplinary Approach to Investigating Foodborne Illness Outbreaks (June 2019)
This webinar focused on a multidisciplinary approach to investigating foodborne illness outbreaks. The approach involves staff from environmental health, epidemiology, laboratory, and communications allows local health departments to efficiently detect cases and mitigate future exposures. The session featured Public Health – Seattle & King County’s (PHSKC) experience partnering across these four main disciplines (four legged stool) to address foodborne illnesses in their community as it unfolds live from the start of notification to conclusion, including successes, challenges, and lessons learned.

Fermentation/Curing Webinar (April 2019)
This webinar focused on fermentation and curing of foods at retail food establishments. Presenters discussed the science and proper implementation of fermentation and curing and a local health department's HACCP plan review processes for retail establishments using specialized processes. Presenters included Dr. Brian Nummer from the Utah State University Food Safety Extension and Zachary Lustgarten from the Boulder County Public Health in Colorado.

Reduced Oxygen Packaging (April 2018)
Reduced Oxygen Packaging (ROP) such as vacuum packaging, cook-chill and sous vide processes are considered specialized processes under the U.S. Food and Drug Administration Model Food Code. The use of ROP has become increasingly popular in restaurants across the nation. Building a positive relationship between industry members and regulators is an important component in making sure ROP is implemented correctly for consumer food safety. During the first portion of the sharing session, food safety experts Chef Don Brizes and Chef Robert Brener provided an industry perspective of implementing ROP in the restaurant. The second portion featured a presentation from Vas Hofer on Maricopa County, AZ’s Variance and HACCP plan review processes for restaurants using ROP.

Development of Standards for Cannabis-Infused Products (January 2018)

ASTM is currently the organization taking the lead to develop standards as it relates to cannabis and cannabis-infused products. Hear from ASTM Committee D37 on Cannabis as to what ASTM is doing to develop cannabis standards, what areas they are developing cannabis standards in, timeline expected, and how you can get involved. You will also hear from NEHA on useful cannabis-infused product tools and resources currently in development for state and local regulatory programs.

This webinar was held in collaboration with the National Environmental Health Association (NEHA), the National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO), and ASTM.

State-Level Variation in the Regulation of Edible Cannabis Products (November 2017)
This webinar features a presentation on how how states regulate the ways in which edible cannabis products used for medicinal or recreational purposes are cultivated, labeled, packaged, distributed and sold, with respect to THC limits and homogeneity requirements, labeling and packaging requirements, and pesticide testing. The webinar also discusses an online survey of cannabis dispensary staff, including data pertaining to risk disclosure and labeling practices for edible products.

This webinar was held in collaboration with the National Environmental Health Association (NEHA), the National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO), and RTI International.

Edible Marijuana Webinar (June 2017)
This webinar focused on edible marijuana. With the legalization of recreational marijuana in states across the country, many public health professionals now face new health concerns and issues in their communities. The first presentation discussed on the changing state regulations and the governmental entities involved in regulating edible marijuana. In the second presentation, the Denver Department of Environmental Health discussed the food safety-related issues surrounding edible marijuana in their community.

Speakers included Karmen Hanson, MA, Program Director, National Conference of State Legislatures and Danica Lee, Director, Public Health Inspections Division, Department of Environmental Health, City and County of Denver.

Active Managerial Control Webinar (May 2017)

This webinar focused on Active Managerial Control (AMC). Annex 4 of the FDA Food Code cites the common goal of regulators and industry as producing safe, quality food for customers and credits AMC over foodborne illness risk factors as the best way to accomplish this goal. The first presentation highlighted how the Fairfax County Health Department in Virginia recognizes its responsibility to promote and encourage AMC within food service operations and tackles this initiative through providing industry education, offering AMC tools and resources, and administering AMC recognition and voluntary enrollment programs. In the second presentation, Dr. Hal King provided a retail food establishment operator’s perspective on Active Managerial Control.

    Food Defense Community of Practice Webinar (2017)

    This webinar features a presentation from the Cuyahoga County Board of Health, Ohio on how they have partnered with its food retailers and the FDA to establish retail food defense in order to prevent intentional contamination of the local food supply.

    Food Truck Webinar (June 2016)
    This webinar focused on local regulatory issues dealing with mobile food units. The first presentation highlighted how local regulatory agencies in southern New Jersey addressed challenges with mobile food units by forming a regional mobile task force to standardize mobile food establishment processes and applications.The second presentation focused on challenges with local regulation from the perspective of mobile food unit owners and managers and how regulators and industry can work together to ensure food safety.

    Cottage Foods Webinar (April 2016)
    This webinar focused on local and state food safety regulatory perspectives and concerns related to cottage foods. The presentation will highlight state cottage food regulations implemented across the nation; how one state health department has partnered with local health departments to regulate, educate, and enforce cottage food laws; and the experience of a local health department in a “food freedom” bill state.

    Raw Milk Series (April-May 2015)
    This webinar series focused on the legal and regulatory issues with raw milk. The first session provided a general overview of raw milk regulation in the United States, as well as a detailed account of recent raw milk regulations and outbreaks in Utah. The second session examined health department experiences responding to outbreaks associated with raw milk and working with communities impacted by outbreaks, as well as legislating its consumption.

    For webinars related to the Retail Program Standards, go to the mentorship program webpage.

    2018 Continuous Improvement of Retail Food Safety Assessment

    NACCHO conducted an assessment to understand how local, state, tribal, and territorial governmental public health agencies are using the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Voluntary National Retail Food Regulatory Program Standards (Retail Program Standards) as a tool for fostering continuous improvement in their retail food regulatory programs.

    View the assessment.

    Retail Food Establishment Scoring, Grading, and Placarding Studies

    NACCHO, with support from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), conducted research to learn more about scoring, grading, and placarding systems used by retail food regulatory programs in the United States. Read the research briefs and case studies available below.

    Additional Resources

    The Council to Improve Foodborne Outbreak Response (CIFOR) is a multidisciplinary collaboration of national associations and local, state and federal agencies representing epidemiology programs, environmental health programs, public health laboratories, and regulatory agencies. Since 2006, CIFOR has worked together to improve methods to detect, investigate, control, and prevent foodborne disease outbreaks. The food industry is represented on the CIFOR Industry Workgroup.

    Sign up to receive updates on new CIFOR resources, funding opportunities, and events.

    CIFOR identifies barriers to rapid detection and response to foodborne disease outbreaks and develops products that address these barriers. Some of the Council’s products include:

    Are you a leader or champion for food safety? NACCHO’s Food Safety Leaders have the opportunity to provide input on positions and advocacy efforts that help to shape policy at local health departments across the nation; they also receive updates on food safety news, policy updates, events, and call-to-action items.

    Follow the instructions below to subscribe to the Food Safety Leaders' List:

    1. Log in to MyNACCHO (or create a free account).
    2. Go to “My Subscriptions.”
    3. Check the box next to the Food Safety Leaders' List (any other e-newsletters you wish you receive).
    4. Click “Save” at the bottom of the page.

    Select Archived Issues

    NACCHO's Food Safety Toolkit is a free, online collection of local public health tools produced by members of the public health community. Tools can be used by public health professionals and other external stakeholders to improve their work in the promotion and advancement of food safety objectives. Tools include case studies, presentations, fact sheets, drills, evaluations, protocols, templates, reports, and training materials.

    Access the Toolkit:

    Visit NACCHO's Toolbox and select "Food Safety Toolkit" from the Toolkits dropdown.

    NACCHO’s Food Safety Workgroup provides leadership and guidance to NACCHO, local health departments, and partner organizations regarding food safety efforts, health outcomes, and implications at the local level. Membership includes local health department officials, sanitarians, environmental health professionals, and environmental health directors who are interested in enhancing food safety policies and practices. The workgroup holds quarterly conference calls, and works in between meetings. In addition, review of documents and participation in judging model practice applications will be required throughout the year. Appointment is for a two-year term with an option for reappointment to a second two-year term. Message Amy Chang for more information.

    Click here to access policy statements that demonstrate NACCHO's commitment to food safety in local communities.

    Environmental Health Program

    Amy Chang

    Senior Program Analyst

    JavaScript is required to reveal this message. / email hidden; JavaScript is required

    Environmental Health Program

    Tiara Smith

    Program Analyst

    JavaScript is required to reveal this message. / email hidden; JavaScript is required

    Environmental Health Program

    Chelsea Gridley-Smith

    Director of Environmental Health

    JavaScript is required to reveal this message. / email hidden; JavaScript is required

    Back to Top