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FDA Releases the 2009 Edition of the Food Code

Constituent Update

November 10, 2009

The U. S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announces the release of the 2009 Edition of the FDA Food Code. The Food Code is a model code and reference document for state, city, county, tribal, and territorial agencies that regulate over one million restaurants, retail food stores, and vending and foodservice operations in institutions such as schools, hospitals, nursing homes, and child care centers.

The 2009 edition of the Food Code is the seventh full edition published by the FDA. The previous full edition was released in 2005 with a supplement published in 2007. It contains the 2007 Supplement updates to the 2005 Food Code, additional changes reflecting current science, emerging food safety issues, and the 2008 Conference for Food Protection recommendations.

Among the more significant enhancements to the 2009 FDA Food Code are:

  • Each provision in the FDA Food Code is now designated as a "Priority Item," a "Priority Foundation Item," or a "Core Item," to assist the industry and regulatory community in prioritizing their food safety interventions and their inspections. These designations are based on a qualitative risk assessment and replace the use of "Critical" and "Non-Critical" designations in previous editions of the FDA Food Code.
  • Cut leafy greens are now included among the foods that require time and temperature control for safety and a new supporting reference document, "Recommendations to Food Establishments for Serving or Selling Cut Leafy Greens" is summarized in Annex 2.
  • Requirements were added to improve food worker awareness of food allergen concerns in the foodservice and retail setting.
  • Serving hamburgers and other ground meats in an undercooked form upon a consumer's request is no longer an option for items offered on a children's menu.
  • A new definition and criteria are added in a new FDA Food Code section for the non-continuous cooking of foods comprised of raw animal products to address the safety of this cooking method.
  • Several requirements related to the effective cleaning and sanitizing of equipment and surfaces are enhanced or clarified.

Food Code adoption and implementation is important for achieving uniform national food safety standards and for enhancing the efficiency and effectiveness of our nation's food safety system. As of January 2009, 49 of 50 states and 3 of 6 territories of the United States report having retail codes patterned after prior editions of the Food Code. Many federal agencies and tribal governments have adopted the Code as well.

The 2009 Food Code is a key component of the President's overall public health-focused food safety framework.

For more information, go to

The 2009 FDA Food Code can be ordered from:

U.S. Department of Commerce
Technology Administration
National Technical Information Service
5301 Shawnee Road, Alexandria, VA 22312
(703) 605-6040; TDD (703) 487-4639
Refer to report number PB2009112613

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