More Than 700 Join Symposium on Voluntary National Retail Food Regulatory Program Standards

NEHA News Release


Release Date: 
June 22, 2022


More Than 700 Join Symposium on Voluntary National Retail Food Regulatory Program Standards

Denver, CO – More than 700 people attended the first ever Retail Program Standards Symposium held June 7–9, 2022. The Symposium included 3 days of information, training, and discussion about each of the Voluntary National Retail Food Regulatory Program Standards (Retail Program Standards) with the ultimate goal of assisting state, local, tribal, and territorial (SLTT) jurisdictions in conforming with the Standards for the health of their communities.

The Retail Program Standards provide a foundation and system of continuous improvement for food safety practices. They are intended to reinforce risk-based inspections, organizational policies and procedures, and effective partnerships with the retail food community to ultimately reduce the risk factors that cause and contribute to foodborne illness.

“We launched this Symposium to help clarify the many facets of the Retail Program Standards, emphasizing how they should be implemented and why they are so important to keeping communities healthy,” said Rance Baker, National Environmental Health Association (NEHA) Entrepreneurial Zone director.

Speakers at the symposium included experts from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), seasoned leaders in the NEHA-FDA Mentorship Program, and members of the Conference for Food Protection (CFP) Program Standards Committees.

The Symposium workshops provided information on each of the Standards, guidance for creating useful risk factor studies with effective public health interventions, assistance developing a long-term Comprehensive Strategic Improvement Plan (CSIP), and details about applying for the NEHA-FDA Retail Flexible Funding Model Grant Program for funding to work towards achieving and maintaining conformance with the Standards.

“I received overwhelmingly positive feedback from those who attended the Retail Program Standards Symposium, which was honoring and humbling. With over 1,000 registrants and 600–700 people in attendance each day, it reinforces the desire and need to continue promotion of the Retail Program Standards for an Integrated Food Safety System,“ said Rebecca Vought, CFP chair. “The dedication to food safety and program standards, along with a commitment to helping SLTTs advance across the nation, shines bright through our recent struggles in public health. CFP appreciates all our public health partners and looks forward to our continued collaborative work.”

The event was presented by the NEHA-FDA Retail Flexible Funding Model Grant Program in collaboration with CFP and funded by FDA under award U2FFD007358. More information and recordings of the Symposium sessions are available at

About the National Environmental Health Association

The National Environmental Health Association (NEHA) is a professional society with more than 6,000 governmental, private, academic, and uniformed services sector environmental health professionals in the U.S., its territories, and internationally. NEHA is the profession's strongest advocate for excellence in the practice of environmental health as it delivers on its mission to build, sustain, and empower an effective environmental health workforce.  This mission is fulfilled in the products and services offered by NEHA to advance the environmental health professional through credentialing, training, education, networking, professional development, and policy involvement opportunities. Learn more about NEHA at