Back to Specialty Food News

FDA Issues Voluntary National Retail Food Regulatory Program Standards

Specialty Food Association

The FDA has issued the 2022 edition of the Voluntary National Retail Food Regulatory Program Standards to detail the key elements of an effective retail food regulatory program for state, local, tribal and territorial regulatory agencies.

The Retail Program Standards provide recommendations for designing and managing retail food regulatory programs and help regulatory jurisdictions (or other responsible organizations) facilitate more effective inspections, implement foodborne illness prevention strategies, and identify program areas in need of improvement.

The FDA developed these standards with input from federal, state, and local regulatory officials, as well as industry, trade associations, academia, and consumers.

The 2022 edition of the Retail Program Standards incorporates changes based on recommendations made during the Conference for Food Protection 2020 Biennial Meeting. Some of these key changes include reformatted curriculum forms and worksheets and the inclusion of alternative sampling methods.

To see the complete list of changes, you can view and download a copy of the Summary of Changes. The 2022 edition of the Retail Program Standards is also available to view and download online.

The FDA encourages jurisdictions to participate in the Retail Program Standards. If a jurisdiction enrolls, they can also apply for federal funding to support their efforts, but they do not have to be enrolled to use the worksheets and materials. Enrollment information can be downloaded on or by contacting an FDA Retail Food Specialist directly using the Directory of FDA Retail Food Specialists.

complete list of jurisdictions enrolled in the Retail Program Standards is available.

Related: FDA Reports Food Safety Progress; FDA Releases Food Safety Blueprint.