The Voluntary National Retail Food Regulatory Program Standards (VNRFRPS), in which
Alaska has been enrolled continuously since 2005, provide a framework for measuring and
improving the performance of retail food programs in the United States. This framework allows
jurisdictions flexibility to account for how they accomplish their prevention goals, but outlines
foundational elements of a food safety regulatory public health system critical to accomplishing
its mission, and requires systematic collection, analysis, interpretation, and dissemination of a
variety of data.
Alaska’s ability to conform to and apply the standards is currently hindered by an information
management system (IMS) that does not allow the program to systematically collect, analyze,
and use data to improve its program or delivery of services and achieve its goals.
Alaska is proposing to design an IMS that would simplify manual processes, consolidate the
locations of critical data, and develop reporting capability that is consistent with the
program’s needs and objectives, allowing the program the ability to gather and assess
program-specific data to improve the quality and delivery of its work efforts. More importantly,
though, an effective IMS would facilitate the development of a robust surveillance system to
detect and prevent foodborne diseases and outbreaks in Alaska, helping to ensure that food is
safe throughout the farm to fork continuum.
As well, the project identifies funding to sustain conformance with the VNRFRPS, including
funding to allow participation at regionally-sponsored training and seminars, and the Conference
for Food Protection.