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To aid the expansion of regulatory programs using risk-based inspections (RBIs) to advance smarter food safety, the National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO) and the Conference for Food Protection (CFP) conducted a study in 2021 to identify, better understand, and assess the application of RBI methods currently employed by local retail food regulatory programs while seeking to identify the overarching barriers preventing the application of RBI methods.

Analysis of Factors Influencing the Implementation of Risk-Based Inspections

This study identified success factors by jurisdictions implementing risk-based inspections—such as funding, training, and leadership buy-in—as well as common barriers – such as inadequate staffing and time needed to train existing staff. Based on the findings, actionable recommendations were derived for national retail food safety partners, federal agencies, and SLTT regulatory programs.

A few highlights of the study include:
  • Success factors by jurisdictions implementing risk-based inspections in retail food safety included funding, training, and leadership buy-in.
  • Barriers toward implementing risk-based inspections in local jurisdictions include inadequate staffing and the time needed to train existing staff.
  • Recommendations and strategies for local health departments to focus on to not only advance RBIs but to improve relationships with retail food establishments.
Analysis of Factors Influencing the Implementation of Risk-Based Inspections (PDF)

Why Risk-Based Inspections in Retail Food Safety Matter

Based on the study Analysis of Factors Influencing the Implementation of Risk-Based Inspections, NACCHO and CFP released a new infographic to highlight how RBI implementation can help improve local health departments’ (LHDs’) relationship with retail food establishments to promote smarter food safety within local jurisdictions. The infographic highlights key strategies LHDs can use to implement RBIs and includes resources from retail food safety partners that could help advance RBI implementation.

WHY RISK-BASED Inspections IN RETAIL FOOD SAFETY MATTER (PDF)