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Voluntary National Retail Food Regulatory Program Standards​

The goal is for the Tulsa Health Department to work to meet each standard to better serve the community and promote healthy retail food practices.


The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) along with other associations and professionals developed the standards. The various standards serve as a guide to regulatory retail food programs to help manage, assess the needs, and improve a retail food regulatory program like the Tulsa Health Department’s Food Protection Services. 

The Standards encourage regulatory agencies like THD to improve and build upon existing programs. Further, the Standards provide a framework designed to accommodate both traditional and emerging approaches to food safety. The Retail Program Standards are intended to reinforce proper sanitation (good retail practices) and operational and environmental prerequisite programs while encouraging regulatory agencies and industry to focus on the factors that cause and contribute to foodborne illness, with the ultimate goal of reducing the occurrence of those factors.

Standard 1 - Regulatory Foundation

The objective of this standard is to adopt a sound, science-based regulatory foundation, or Food Code. The Tulsa Health Department Food Protection Service Program designee serves on Oklahoma Food Service Advisory Council to review and approve implementation of rules and standards for food establishments.

Standard 2 - Trained Regulatory Staff

The objective of this standard is to have trained inspectors with the skills and knowledge necessary to conduct quality inspections.

Standard 3 - Inspection Program Based on HACCP Principles

The objective of this standard is to have a regulatory inspection system that uses Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point (HACCP) principles to identify risk factors and obtain immediate and long-term corrective action plan to address any recurring risk factors.

HACCP principles is a systematic approach that helps to identify, evaluate, and control food safety hazards.

Risk factors are procedures or behaviors that increase the risk or likelihood of foodborne illness.

Standard 4 - Uniform Inspection Program

The objective of this standard is to have a quality assurance program that ensures staff uniformity in the interpretation and application of laws, regulations, policies and procedures.

Standard 5 - Foodborne Illness and Food Defense Preparedness and Response

The objective of this standard is to ensure that THD has a systematic approach of detecting, investigating, and responding to alleged food-related incidents that involve illness, injury, unintentional or deliberate food contamination.

The Tulsa Health Department met Standard 5 in August 2021.

Standard 6 - Compliance and Enforcement

The objective of this standard is to have an effective compliance and enforcement program that is implemented consistently to achieve compliance with regulatory requirements.

Standard 7 - Industry and Community Relations

The objective of this standard is enhanced communication with industry and consumers through forums designed to solicit input to improve the retail food regulatory program. Another outcome is to reduce foodborne illness through educational outreach and in cooperation with the public including stakeholders.

The Tulsa Health Department met Standard 7 in September 2020.

Standard 8 - Programs Support and Resources

The objective of this standard is to ensure that resources are available to support a risk-based retail food safety program designed to reduce the risk factors known to contribute to foodborne illness.

Standard 9

This standard applies to the process that THD uses to measure the occurrence of foodborne illness risk factors in Tulsa County. A Risk Factor Study will occur every 3 years to measure the occurrence of food establishment risk factor trends. Once identified, a targeted intervention strategy will be developed to address these risk factors and improve food safety practices and behaviors.

The Tulsa Health Department met Standard 9 in September 2021.


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