NEWTON COUNTY, Ga. - The Gwinnett, Newton and Rockdale County Health Departments are proud to announce that its Environmental Health program recently fulfilled all nine standards for the Food and Drug Administration’s Voluntary National Retail Food Regulatory Program. GNR is now one of only five jurisdictions in the nation to achieve this status.
The Retail Program Standards define what constitutes a highly effective and response 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. 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. 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.
The nine standards include, (1) Regulatory Foundation, (2) Trained Regulatory Staff, (3) Inspection Program Based on HACCP Principles, (4) Uniform Inspection Program, (5) Foodborne Illness and Food Defense Preparedness and Response, (6) Compliance and Enforcement, (7) Industry and Community Relations, (8) Program Support and Resources, and (9) Program Assessment.
There are currently only four other jurisdictions in the country meeting all nine standards. Those include Kansas City Missouri Health Department (Missouri), City of Vineland Health Department (New Jersey), Portsmouth Health Department (Virginia), and Virginia Beach Department of Public Health (Virginia).
GNR’s Environmental Health staff are dedicated and work tirelessly to help ensure the health and safety of our communities. This recognition acknowledges their efforts.