Inspection Officer Standardization - Retail Food Establishments
The Voluntary National Retail Food Regulatory Program Standards are intended to help reduce food-borne illnesses associated with retail food and food-service establishments by promoting continuous improvement of food safety inspection programs. The Retail Program Standards serve as a guide for retail food managers in state, local, tribal, and territorial retail food regulatory agencies.
The Voluntary National Retail Food Regulatory Program Standards represent a key benchmark for retail food regulatory programs. Specifically, the Retail Program Standards promote:
- Adoption of science-based model regulations (e.g., the FDA Food Code which is what the Texas Food Establishment Rules are);
- Improvements in staff training and increased program resources;
- Implementation of risk-based inspection programs based on Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP) principles;
- Development and implementation of outbreak and food defense surveillance and response plans; and
- Enhanced communication and collaboration with the state, industry and consumers.
Voluntary National Retail Food Regulatory Program Standards program serve as a guide to regulatory retail food program managers for the design and management of these programs and provide recognition for programs that meet one or more of the Standards. The Retail Program Standards assist food regulatory programs by identifying the areas that most need attention, enhancing the services they provide, and promoting the application of effective foodborne illness prevention strategies.
The Standardization of Food Safety Inspection Officers program promotes consistency in the interpretation of the Texas Food Establishment Rules (TFER). Local health jurisdictions may request that their training officer complete the standardization exercise with a state standardization officer, who has been certified by US Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
The training officer will demonstrate thorough knowledge and expertise in their understanding, application, and interpretation of the TFER, food-borne illness risk factors, public health interventions, and HACCP (Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point) principles. They will also demonstrate the proper use of essential inspection equipment and the necessary communication skills to conduct a retail food establishment inspection.
After the successful completion of the standardization exercise, the training officer will be certified to train and standardize their food safety inspectors.