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Issue Number: Council II 035


Standardized Data Collection and Electronic Reporting of Inspections

Issue you would like the Conference to consider

Current health department food establishment inspection forms use a variety of formats, scoring approaches and records that can be stored electronically or on paper. Food establishment inspection data would be most effective if collected and stored in a standardized format that is readable and searchable across multiple technology platforms. Standardized data collection formats could help reduce a significant barrier to sharing of inspection data.

Public Health Significance

A standardized approach to Inspection data collection, warehousing, and access could:

  • Facilitate cross agency/jurisdictional data sharing for state and national Baseline (Risk Factor) Studies, and be a data resource for academia and industry partners.
  • Allow the development of third party web and mobile applications which can provide controlled access of inspection results to consumers, regulators, industry and media.
  • Allow corporate/business owner awareness of inspection results and trends, engaging food establishment management in the remediation of critical violations, repeat violations, inspection failure, and any other urgent inspection outcomes.
  • Allow industry to perform ongoing analytics of inspection findings so that resources can be optimally allocated to reduce violations, better manage poor performing food establishments, and improve public health.
  • Reduce time and resources needed by regulatory agencies to comply with inspection data requests from media, consumers and others.

Recommended Solution: The Conference recommends...

that a committee be created to study how health department inspection data can be collected more uniformly through the use of standardized formats to enhance public health. Utilizing Food Code Annex 7, Form 3-A (Food Establishment Inspection Form) and Guide 3-B (Instructions for Marking the Food Establishment Inspection Report, Including Food Code References for Risk Factors/Interventions and Good Retail Practices) as the starting point, the committee is charged to consider:

  • Uniform violation categories / types, by utilizing the FDA inspection form,
  • Consistent scoring methodology, and
  • Development of a centralized electronic database with controlled access.

The committee will report on its findings, along with implementation recommendations at the 2014 CFP Biennial Meeting.

These activities should be undertaken with the intent of eventually creating a national database to warehouse inspection data from contributing states, local jurisdictions and other sources.

Submitter Information

Name Jennifer Tong
Organization NSF International
Address 789 N. Dixboro Road
Ann Arbor, MI 48105
Telephone 937-335-1089
Fax 734-657-2072 cell
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