Utah Department of Agriculture and Food

Regulatory Services Division Uses Federal Grants to Enhance Food Safety in Utah

Manufactured Foods Regulatory Program Standards

The Manufactured Foods program of UDAF’s Regulatory Services Division has achieved full conformance in all 10 of the Manufactured Food Regulatory Program Standards (MFRPS). The program is now working to maintain program standard conformance, while working to develop a Utah Human and Animal [Food] (HAF) Rapid Response Team (RRT).

In 2012 UDAF was awarded a five-year grant to implement the MFRPS. As of August 2017, the Manufactured Food Program achieved full conformance with all 10 program standards and was one of only five states in the country to reach full conformance status within the allotted five year time frame.

“We have our next full FDA audit in June 2019,” said Richard Beckstrand, manufactured food program manager, UDAF. “I will begin preparing for that in March. There will be lots of work to do with updating Standard Operating Procedures (SOP's) and standards appendices along with completing all field and inspection/sample report audits.” Beckstrand said the department should be able to maintain its full conformance status, but that it will take a lot of hard work the first half of this year.

The MFRPS areas of focus include:

● Standard 1 - Regulatory Foundation
● Standard 2 - Training Program
● Standard 3 - Inspection Program
● Standard 4 - Inspection Audit Program
● Standard 5 - Food-related Illness and Outbreaks and Response
● Standard 6 - Compliance and Enforcement Program
● Standard 7 - Industry and Community Relations
● Standard 8 - Program Resources
● Standard 9 - Program Assessment
● Standard 10 - Laboratory Services

In 2018, the Division had the opportunity to apply for five additional years of funding for the MFRPS along with five years of grant funding to develop a Utah Human and Animal (HAF) Rapid Response Team. UDAF received full funding for the MFRPS and first year partial funding for the Rapid Response team will be awarded. The extended funding will allow the Division to continue to build improved systems capabilities and develop the trained professionals needed to respond to food emergencies and food borne illness outbreaks in the State.

Rapid Response Team (RRT)
The primary purpose of the Rapid Response Team is to respond quickly to food-related illness outbreaks, disasters, and other food or feed-related incidents in order to protect human and animal health.

The RRT goals are to protect public health by identifying contributing factors of food-related incidents, determine why the incident occurred, and to take action to contain the incident occurred by understanding and eliminating the root cause.

The RRT also works to prevent further distribution and sale of implicated products by coordinating regulatory actions such as recalls, embargoes, administrative detentions, etc.

Richard Beckstrand administers the funding and the UDAF team, which includes food and feed inspectors, and the department’s emergency response and RRT project development coordinator, Thayne Mickelson.

“I am coordinating the development of the collaborative partnering to bring local, state, and federal partners together to develop a working relationship to a stronger level,” said Mickelson. Utah is working with Washington State as its mentor state, said Beckstrand. The coordinators in Washington State are helping their counterparts in Utah figure out how to get our project off the ground and make it successful.

“Randy Treadwell in Washington has been involved with their RRT as the RRT Program Manager for over 10 years and has a wealth of knowledge that we are tapping into,” Beckstrand said. “Thayne and I will be delivering an introductory presentation to the Conference of Local Environmental Health Administrators ( CLEHA) on January 29th.

“This group is composed of all the top leadership of the county health departments throughout the state. Local health department involvement is essential if we are to be successful in our efforts to respond to food and other emergencies more quickly and efficiently.”