Food code

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search

A food code is the organic body and systematized basic standards relating to food, condiments, stimulants and drink and beverages, their concerned raw materials, utensils and equipment use and domestic consumption.

Food codes have as their main goals:

  • Define what is meant by food, stimulants, condiments, beverages and other products and materials included in the code.
  • Determine the minimum conditions to be met by those.
  • Establish the basic conditions of the various procedures for preparation, preservation, packaging, distribution, transport, advertising and consumption.

There is an international code, called the Codex Alimentarius, and regional and national codes.

Food codes[edit]

United States[edit]

The U.S. Food Code is released by the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) every four years as a guide or model from which health jurisdictions nationwide can develop their food service sanitation standards. First published in 1993, the Food Code represents best practices regarding safe food storage, handling, and preparation.

The current version of the FDA Food Code was released in 2013.[1] Health jurisdictions use these guidelines to create their own regulations, which form the basis for food safety standards and sanitation inspections of food service establishments and retail food operations.

Use and content[edit]

According to the FDA, the Food Code provides “practical, science-based guidance and manageable, enforceable provisions for mitigating risk factors known to cause food-borne illness. The Code is a reference document for regulatory agencies that ensure food safety in food service establishments, retail food stores, other food establishments at the retail level, and institutions, such as nursing homes and child care centers.”[1]

Contributors to the development of the Food Code are the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) of the Department of Health and Human Services and the Food Safety and Inspection Service of the Department of Agriculture. The Conference for Food Protection also provides recommendations for FDA Food Code standards.

Food Code provisions address management and personnel, food, equipment, plumbing, physical facilities, chemical product use, and other areas. The FDA Food Code also includes references, rationales for the standards, and model forms.


As of November 2007, 48 of the 50 states had adopted codes modeled on one of the versions of the FDA Food Code.[2] Which version of the Food Code is in force varies by health jurisdiction.[2]


  1. ^ a b US Food and Drug Administration. Joint Introduction to the 2005 Food Code.
  2. ^ a b US Food and Drug Administration. Real Progress in Food Code Adoptions.