The Food and Drug Administration today announced the publication of the new FDA Food Code, a model code and reference document that provides a scientifically sound technical and legal basis for regulating the retail and food service segment of the food industry.
State, city, county, tribal, and territorial agencies regulate more than 1 million restaurants, retail food stores, and vending and food service operations in institutions such as schools, hospitals, nursing homes, and child care centers.
What FDA Food Code provides
The model FDA Food Code provides the basis for most of those agencies’ licensing, inspection, and enforcement activities, as well as serves as a model for their food statutes, regulations, and ordinances.
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.
Significant enhancements to the 2009 FDA Food Code include:
- 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 are added to improve food worker awareness of food allergen concerns in the food service 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.