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Posted on: November 1, 2021

Environmental Health Department Receives Recognition from USDA

USDA Award 11.1.21

Cochise County Environmental Health Department Receives Achievement Recognition from U.S. Food and Drug Administration (USDA)

Cochise Health & Social Services has recently been recognized by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (USDA) for their commitment to the continuous improvement of the retail food regulatory program, as demonstrated by completing a self-assessment of all nine FDA Voluntary National Retail Food Regulatory Program Standards. 

The FDA Voluntary National Retail Food Regulatory Program Standards provide a comprehensive, risk-based framework for continuous improvement, based on meaningful public health performance measurements. These performance measures focus on reducing the occurrence of factors that contribute to foodborne illness within retail food establishments. The performance measures represent a high benchmark to which a regulatory retail food program should aspire. 

“Active participation in this program clearly demonstrates a remarkable level of commitment to achieving program excellence,” stated Christopher J. Smith, USDA Director, Retail Branch 3. 

According to Cochise Health and Social Services, the FDA self-assessment is a way for the health department to know which standards they currently meet, and to help identify areas for opportunity and growth. The FDA’s retail standards provide a framework to become standardized, which allows the health department to achieve a more uniform approach on inspections, opens doors to more opportunities for obtaining grants, and helps achieve public health accreditation. 

“This recognition is a testament to the department’s excellent work and achievement,” says Cochise County Health Director, Alicia M. Thompson. 

To learn more information about the Environmental Health Services Division, visit

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