The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has released the 2013 edition of the FDA Food Code, providing all levels of government and industry with guidance on mitigating known risks of foodborne illness. The 2013 edition marks the publication's 20th anniversary and 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.
It has been widely adopted by state, local, tribal and territorial regulatory agencies that regulate more than one million restaurants, retail food stores, vending operations and food service operations in schools, hospitals, nursing homes, and child care centers. Significant changes to the 2013 Food Code include the following:
• Restaurants and food stores must post signs notifying their customers that inspection information is available for review.
• Nontyphoidal Salmonella is added to the list of illnesses that food workers are required to report to their management and that prompts management to exclude or restrict employees from working with food.
• New requirements that better address emerging trends in food establishments such as the use of reduced oxygen packaging methods and the reuse and refilling of take-home food containers.
• Revisions to the minimum cooking temperatures associated with procedures such as non-continuous cooking and circumstances under which bare-hand contact with ready-to-eat foods is permitted.
• Stronger requirements for cleaning and sanitizing equipment used in preparing raw foods that are major food allergens.
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, 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.
Inquiries may be sent to [email protected] or directly to a Regional Retail Food Specialist located in one of FDA’s five Regional Offices across the country.