What Is the CRFSC and Why Does It Exist?

The California Retail Food Safety Coalition (CRFSC) was formed in December 1993 as the “Committee to Review CURFFL”[1] when a group of interested parties (local environmental health officials, the Food and Drug Branch of the Deparment of Health Services (now known as the California Department of Publilc Health (CDPH)), and various segments of the retail food service industry) met to discuss a number of troublesome issues which they all faced. The "founders" of the CRFSC were concerned about, among other things, the fact that during previous years there had been a rash of special-interest legislation that was introduced at the urging of selected members of the food service industry. Unfortunately, much of that new legislation was not based upon sound public health principles.

In addition, all of the interested parties recognized that the manner in which CURFFL was being enforced was very troublesome in that there was little uniformity between the various jurisdictions (i.e., counties) as to the manner in which CURFFL was interpreted or as to the nature and extent of the inspections that were conducted in each jurisdiction. Moreover, there was often a lack of uniformity within given jurisdictions as to the interpretation and enforcement of CURFFL. Lastly in this regard, there were many in the food service industry who felt strongly that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's “model” Food Code was a better body of food safety requirements and restrictions and should, therefore, be adopted in California in place of CURFFL.

Recognizing that there were many reasons for all of the various constituency groups involved in retail food service operations in California to act cooperatively in order to achieve both mutual short- and long-term objectives, the participants at the December 1993 meeting decided to create an informal working coalition consisting of representatives from the retail food service industry, local environmental health officials, and CDPH.   This coalition was originally called the “Committee to Review CURFFL,” and its name was changed recently to the “California Retail Food Safety Coalition” in order to more accurately reflect the broadened scope of the group’s work.

[1] The CURFFL acronym stands for the California Uniform Retail Food Facilities Law, found in the Health and Safety Code.