Retail Food Association Summit Notes and Outcomes

On June 4–6, 2019, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) National Retail Program Team management and retail association representatives held a meeting. Notes and outcomes from the meeting are outlined below:

Meeting Purpose

The purpose of the meeting and conference calls leading up to the meeting was to:

  • Obtain a better understanding of FDA/association roles as they relate to retail food protection.
  • Enhance our working relationship and develop a process for interaction.
  • Develop a plan for collaboration going forward.
  • Develop short-term operational plan that leads to immediate outcomes.

FDA/Association Representation

  • Association of Food and Drug Officials (AFDO)
  • Conference for Food Protection (CFP)
  • National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO)
  • National Environmental Health Association (NEHA)
  • FDA
    • Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition (CFSAN)
    • Office of Regulatory Affairs (ORA)/Office of State Cooperative Programs (OSCP)
    • ORA/Office of Partnerships (OP)
    • ORA/Office of Training Education and Development (OTED)
  • Meeting Facilitator

Meeting Accomplishments

  • Came to consensus on group’s purpose (“Why do we exist?”)
    • “To leverage resources and strengths of AFDO, CFP, FDA, NACCHO, and NEHA to collaboratively advance retail food initiatives and activities with a goal of reducing foodborne illness.”
  • Established, by consensus, the overall national retail food program strategic goal
    • “To reduce foodborne illness by reducing the occurrence of foodborne illness risk factors.”
  • Identified current collaborations underway to achieve strategic goal.
  • Brainstormed and prioritized areas for future collaborations.
  • Established workgroups and action plans to accomplish top short-term (12 – 18 months) priorities.
  • Identified initial meeting frequencies and dates.
  • Established a portal (FoodSHIELD) for information sharing (presentations, meeting minutes, workgroup activities, etc.) between FDA/Association representatives.
  • Obtained commitment by all participants to continue collaborative efforts initiated during the Summit.

Workgroups Established to Address Short-Term (12 – 18 months) Priorities

  1. Communication Workgroup:
    1. Workgroup members: Steve Mandernach (AFDO) (Group Lead), Vince Radke (NEHA), David Lawrence (CFP), Amy Chang (NACCHO), and Chris Smith (FDA).
    2. Will develop an “elevator speech” summarizing group’s existence using answers to six strategic questions.
  1. Organizational Structure Workgroup:
    1. Workgroup Members: Steve Mandernach (AFDO) (Group Lead), Vince Radke (NEHA), David Lawrence (CFP), Amy Chang (NACCHO), and Chris Smith (FDA).
    2. Will identify/describe:
      1. Appropriate vehicle [partnership agreement, MOU, or other mechanism to prevent triggering the Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA)]
      2. Statement of scope
      3. Goal and objectives
      4. Participants
      5. Roles and responsibilities
      6. Stakeholders
      7. Recommendations for organizational structure.
      8. Authority of the project manager
      9. Future meetings
        1. Representation
        2. Meeting objectives
        3. Notes/minutes/summaries/action items
        4. Facilitation strategy/rotation
        5.  Frequency
      10. Sharing of information (portal/platform – already resolved with FoodSHIELD)
  1. Support Food Code Adoption Workgroup:
    1. Workgroup members: Brenda Bacon (CFP) (Group Lead), Vince Radke (NEHA) Steve Mandernach (AFDO), Jennifer Li (NACCHO), and Glenda Lewis (FDA).
    2. Expected outcomes:
      1. Support Food Code adoption by developing a Food Code adoption implementation and sustainability tool kit. (Note: This was presented as the Food Code serves as the strong foundational need for the interventions/controls for reducing foodborne illness risk factor occurrence).

Long-Term Priorities (these will be addressed after short-term priorities are accomplished or as time permits)

  • Identify and assess industry intervention strategies designed to reduce foodborne illness risk factor occurrence. Includes developing evaluation criteria.
  • Conduct field testing of regulatory intervention strategies designed to reduce foodborne illness risk factor occurrence. Includes developing evaluation criteria.
  • Building on FDA’s service delivery strategy, develop national, integrated strategy to provide “multiplier effect” for Retail Program Standards technical assistance. (Includes reviewing previously completed NACCHO research on barriers to program standards enrollment and progress, identifying any data gaps, and identifying support systems to address the barriers.)
    • Develop a way to aid jurisdictions that need the assistance the most (expanding equitable outreach to all jurisdictions)
  • Assess application of risk-based inspections by state, local, tribal, and territorial (SLTT) regulatory jurisdictions. (At what level do we know that risk-based inspections are or are not occurring? Is current OTED training effective at changing behavior? What other barriers exist that are preventing application of risk-based inspection methodology by SLTTs? What can we do to overcome the barriers?)
  • Develop a way to easily share information and a strategy to promote and connect available resources among SLTTs/retail stakeholders.
  • Develop strategy to better tell our story. (Include developing a story brand and celebrating/marketing success of SLTT retail program successes.)
  • Issue joint recommendations on emerging issues.

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