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Client: Dr. Noel P.Greis and Dr. Monica L.Nogueira, Kenan Institute of Private Enterprise

Brett Weed, NC Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services


Student Consultant: Haifeng Lin


Date: April 28, 2012


Executive Summary


The North Carolina Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (NCDACS) is mandated to assure that consumers in North Carolina have access to food products that are safe. Regular inspections of all facilities are cost-prohibitive. Risk-based resource allocation strategies will reduce food contamination at a low cost. The larger share of inspection resources should be allocated to food products with a higher risk, based on the FDA Industry Code, and to facilities with a higher likelihood of food contamination.


Currently, there are 488 high-risk facilities, 526 medium-risk facilities, and 4154 low-risk facilities that need to be inspected by 18 level-1 and 7 level-2 inspectors. The level-1 inspector is limited to low risk facilities. The level-2 inspector is capable of inspecting all facilities. The FDA’s suggested inspection intervals are 12 months, 18 months, and 24 months, for high-risk, medium-risk, and low-risk level firms, respectively.


The goal of this project is to find out if the current inspection resources are sufficient, and if not, to determine how many additional inspectors are necessary meet the NCDACS inspection requirements and guidelines.


Two linear integer programming models and two simple models were formulated to solve the inspection resources sufficiency problem and to find a two-year schedule that most efficiently uses the inspection resources in each inspector’s individual schedule period.


The project focused on the East region, a sub-region of the West region, and a sub-region of the Central region. A two-year schedule was produced for each inspector in these three regions. The only inspector we scheduled that could not finish his required inspection was the level-2 inspector in East region. From the results of the project, 77 weeks are needed to finish all inspections in his first 52-week schedule.