Food Safety: Licensing Faith-Based Organizations for Food Events


Impact Statement: 
The Stratford Health Department’s aim was to ensure that at least 75% of faith-based organizations (FBOs) were licensed, so they could provide food during public events throughout the year and minimize the risk of food-borne illness. While working through their QI planning project, staff fixed a decades-old problem with annually licensing FBOs, reduced administrative time spent on licensing, and targeted an effective way to license and educate FBOs about preventing food borne illness.

To reduce the potential for foodborne illness, the Stratford Health Department sought to properly license FBOs according to the Connecticut Public Health Code. This project was chosen because most FBO kitchens were structurally noncompliant, staff were not trained in food safety, and improper licenses were being issued. Before this project, FBOs were provided with an “annual license” from the Stratford Health Department for $5, but kitchens were not inspected, and there were no standards for regulations.

Organization that conducted the QI initiative: 
Stratford Health Department

Broneill, G. Public Health Quality Improvement Exchange. Food Safety: Licensing Faith-Based Organizations for Food Events . Wed, 08/12/2015 - 13:43. Available at Accessed December 7, 2023.

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marni's picture
Submitted by marni on

The Stratford CT quality planning (QP) project to increase the percent of faith-based food events that are licensed in order to reduce food borne illness is a terrific example of using quality planning processes to design effective work processes.By investigating the requirements for licensing for faith-based food events, the health department identified that the State of CT did not require that these FBOs be licensed annually. And the QP team determined that there was no consistent or stable process for the temporary licensing of these FBOs. Based on this situation, the QP team used several QI/QP tools to design and test a temporary food license process and to develop a training course for FBO food workers.
The QP project resulted in many positive outcomes including fixing a decades-old problem of incorrectly licensing FBOs; after the QI project, 100% of FBOs are now licensed correctly. Also, 19 additional FBOs were alerted to temporary food license requirements and entered into an emergency notification system for future needs. Congratulations to the Stratford QP team for demonstrating the application of quality planning to the Food Safety program! Marni Mason
How have you used customer needs information to customize your work process during a QI project?  

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