FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: April 15, 2015
City hired by national health organization to teach best practices to other government agencies
The Kansas City, Missouri, Health Department has been awarded a contract through the National Association of County and City Health Officials’ (NACCHO) Retail Program Standards Mentorship Program to provide leadership and guidance for two health departments as they begin their efforts to complete requirements set by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s Voluntary National Retail Food Regulatory Program Standards. The Health Department has been awarded this contact due to successful retail food regulatory program practices already established in Kansas City.
“Only a handful of departments across the nation are close to completing the work necessary to meet the nine FDA Retail Program Standards,” said Naser Jouhari, manager of the Health Department’s Environmental Health Services Division. “We are on track to complete all nine standards by the end of the year, and the fact that NACCHO asked us to support other health department reinforces our strategies to provide top-notch, quality services for retail establishments and their clients.”
The standards are designed to help food regulatory programs enhance the services they provide to the public. The ultimate goal of the standards is to reduce and eliminate the factors that cause and contribute to foodborne illness. The standards serve as a mechanism for continuous quality improvement.
“A lot of time, energy and resources have been invested to build a standardized food protection program,” said Jouhari. “We look forward to helping out our colleagues in other parts of the nation, while reinforcing a culture of health here in Kansas City.”
As part of the contract, Kansas City’s Health Department will mentor the Columbia/Boone County Department of Public Health and Human Services in Missouri and the Southeastern Utah District Health Department. Kansas City representatives will provide guidance, expertise, tools and recommendations to help the two departments make progress on selected standards.
The mentorship program is jointly funded by NACCHO and FDA. More information on the program may be found at NACCHO’s website, www.naccho.org. Information on the nine standards may be found at FDA’s website, www.fda.gov.
Media inquiries on this topic should be directed to Jeff Hershberger, public information officer, at 816-719-3610 (media phone).