The Food Code is a model for safeguarding public health and ensuring food is unadulterated and honestly presented when offered to the consumer. It represents FDA's best advice for a uniform system of provisions that address the safety and protection of food offered at retail and in food service.
This model is offered for adoption by local, state, and federal governmental jurisdictions for administration by the various departments, agencies, bureaus, divisions, and other units within each jurisdiction that have been delegated compliance responsibilities for food service, retail food stores, or food vending operations. Alternatives that offer an equivalent level of public health protection to ensure that food at retail and foodservice is safe are recognized in this model.
The FDA Food Code marks its 20th anniversary with the release of the 2013 edition. The 2013 Food Code (8th edition) reflects the agency’s continued commitment to maintaining cooperative programs with state, local, tribal, and territorial governments.
The 2013 edition reflects the input of regulatory officials, industry, academia, and consumers that participated in the 2012 meeting of the Conference for Food Protection (CFP). Collaboration with the CFP and our partners at the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services helps ensure the Food Code establishes sound requirements that prevent foodborne illness and injury and eliminates the most important food safety hazards in retail and foodservice facilities.
FDA encourages its state, local, tribal, and territorial partners to adopt the latest version of the FDA Food Code. The benefits associated with complete and widespread adoption of the 2013 Food Code as statutes, codes and ordinances include:
- Reduction of the risk of foodborne illnesses within food establishments, thus protecting consumers and industry from potentially devastating health consequences and financial losses.
- Uniform standards for retail food safety that reduce complexity and better ensure compliance.
- The elimination of redundant processes for establishing food safety criteria.
- The establishment of a more standardized approach to inspections and audits of food establishments.
Members of FDA’s National Retail Food Team are available to assist regulatory officials, educators, and the industry in their efforts to adopt, implement, and understand the provisions of the FDA Food Code and the Retail Program Standards. Inquiries may be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org or directly to a Regional Retail Food Specialist located in one of FDA’s five Regional Offices across the country.