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Classroom Training

The first phase of staff training should provide an orientation to the program with a review of program history, structure, and relationships to other food-related programs. Specific emphasis should be on the program's goals and objectives. The basic training curriculum should include the following components:

  • Prevailing statutes, regulations, or ordinances

  • Public health principles

  • Communication skills

  • Epidemiology

  • Microbiology

  • HACCP.

FDA’s ORA-U (http://www.fda.gov/ora/training/) provides basic curriculum components free of charge to regulators via the internet. This allows state, local, and tribal health departments to conserve their time and funding resources instead of developing their own training courses. It also allows inspectors to access training as needed. Distance learning allows government agencies and industries to cost-effectively disseminate the most current technical and regulatory information on an as-needed basis.


Field Training and Experience

The second phase of training should move the new inspector into the field with a training officer. On-site training should focus on specific inspection tasks such as interviewing, making observations, measuring conditions such as temperatures and sanitizer strength, assessing the control operators have over the foodborne illness risk factors, ensuring implementation of Food Code interventions, and completing the inspection form. If an electronic database is used by the agency, training in its use should be included in this phase.

The evaluation of food safety management systems based on HACCP principles should be part of the field training experience. The trainee and the trainer should review establishment menus, operations, recipes, and standard operating procedures. Inspectors should be able to demonstrate proficiency in gathering information about the food preparation processes, including accurate charting of the food flows and determination of the Critical Control Points (CCPs) and critical limits in an operation. This part of the training should also include a familiarization with the compliance and enforcement protocol in place in the jurisdiction including recommendation of voluntary strategies to prevent risk factor occurrence.

Annex 5 – Conducting Risk-based Inspections 515

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