The third part of staff training should include standardization. This process improves uniformity in the application and interpretation of applicable regulations, inspection methodology, and report writing. The Program Standards recommend that staff conducting inspections undergo a standardization process similar to the one described in the FDA Procedures for Standardization and Certification of Retail Food Inspection/ Training Officers (http://www.cfsan.fda.gov/~ear/rfi-toc.html). Standardization should be completed after the trainee completes classroom and field training.
The training process for inspection staff should be continuous. The final phase of training should include a mechanism to ensure that learning is ongoing and staff is kept abreast of food safety issues and the latest science.
Ensure Adequate Program Resources
As indicated in Standard 8 of the Program Standards, regulatory agencies should have adequate funding, staff, and equipment necessary to support a risk-based retail food safety program designed to reduce the occurrence of foodborne illness risk factors. Program management should do everything they can to secure funding and resources to support regulatory food programs.
Standard 8 of the Program Standards also states that the program budget should provide the necessary resources to develop and maintain a retail food safety program that has a staffing level of one full-time equivalent (FTE) devoted to food for every 280 - 320 inspections performed. Inspections, for purposes of this calculation, include routine inspections, re-inspections, complaint investigations, outbreak investigations, compliance follow-up inspections, risk assessment reviews, process reviews, variance process reviews, and other direct establishment contact time such as on-site training.
RISK-BASED INSPECTION METHODOLOGY
Focus the Inspection
Conducting a risk-based inspection requires inspectors to focus their efforts on evaluating the degree of active managerial control that operators have over foodborne illness risk factors. In addition, it is essential that the implementation of Food Code interventions also be verified during each inspection. Inspectors need to spend the majority of their time observing the behaviors, practices, and procedures that are likely to lead to out-of-control foodborne illness risk factors and asking management and food employees questions to supplement actual observations.
Annex 5 – Conducting Risk-based Inspections 516