New Department FDA Initiatives

The Westford Health Department is currently enrolled in the FDA's voluntary national retail food regulatory food program standards.

Progress Highlights

Department Received 3 FDA Grants

Being a very progressive and proactive department, the Health Department identified an opportunity to increase our effectiveness in the community by developing a risk based electronic inspection system using principals consistent with our current efforts to meet the requirements of the Voluntary National Retail Food Regulatory Program Standards (VNRFRPS). Through funds awarded through an FDA grant, new software called WinWam will be implemented to more effectively standardize and streamline the inspection process of retail food vendors. In turn, our inspectors will be able to store data electronically while decreasing the need for paper.

The VNRFRPS define what constitutes a highly effective and responsive program for the regulation of food service and retail food establishments. They provide a framework designed to accommodate both traditional and emerging approaches to food safety. The Retail Program Standards are intended to reinforce good retail practices such as proper sanitation, operations and environmental programs, while encouraging regulatory agencies and industry to focus on the factors that cause and contribute to food-borne illness, with the ultimate goal of reducing the occurrences.

Additionally, the Department received two other smaller grants to continue to provide education to our community and the food establishment industry, as well as funding to establish a local food advisory committee. The committee will help improve communication between the department which regulates and the food industry, and also provide an opportunity to discuss and strengthen the Health Department's food safety efforts.

Health Department Completes FDA Food Standard 7

The Westford Health Department completed and met all requirements for Standard No. 7 Industry and Community Relations of the FDA Retail Food Standards program. The standard was met as a result of the department showing that we communicate sound public health food safety standards and foster and recognize community initiatives which focus on the reduction of food-borne illness disease risk factors. Being a participant in this program continues to help improve our food inspection program, our community education outreach, and qualifies our community for food safety grants!