Tracy earns another FDA certification
Clay Tracy, environmental health manager for the Walker County Health Department, was recently awarded a new Certificate of Achievement from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s Voluntary National Retail Food Regulatory Program Standards on behalf of Walker County and the Georgia Department of Public Health Northwest Health District. The new certification, earned for Standard 7, means Walker County has now completed four of the nine standards established by the FDA to provide local governments with a scientifically sound technical-and-legal basis for food-service regulation.
Last year, Tracy was awarded certification for completion of Standards 1, 3, and 6. Walker County remains just one of four jurisdictions within Georgia to have earned certification for Standard 6. The other ten counties in the Northwest Health District – Bartow, Catoosa, Chattooga, Dade, Floyd, Gordon, Haralson, Paulding, and Polk - have all earned certification for Standards 1, 3, and 7 largely due to Tracy’s efforts.
“We are proud of the work Clay and the rest of our environmental health staff do to make our Northwest Georgia Food Service Inspection Program so successful,” said Tim Allee, environmental health director for the Northwest Health District. “We are especially pleased for Walker County to earn Standard 7, which allows us to provide even more extensive educational opportunities to the food-service industry and its employees.”
“Georgia’s Rules & Regulations for Food Service are among the most robust in the nation for food safety,” said Allee, “but the FDA certifications Clay has earned for Walker County and the rest of our district give us additional tools to monitor and improve the quality of food safety and prepare for and respond to food-borne illness outbreaks.”
Food-borne illness is a significant public health issue. One out of every six people nationwide experience a food-borne illness each year, resulting in tens of millions of acute illnesses, hundreds of thousands of hospitalizations, and thousands of deaths each year in the U. S.
The Voluntary National Retail Food Regulatory Program Standards are designed to improve public health by strengthening state and local retail food regulatory program operations, linking food-borne illness risk factor analyses data to industry outreach efforts, and reducing the occurrence of foodborne illness.