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very four years, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) releases its Food Code – a model that encompasses guidelines and provisions to best ensure that food offered at retail food establishments and in food service is safe, unadulterated, and honestly presented. This model is offered for adoption by state, local, tribal, territorial, and federal government jurisdictions. The most recent Food Code, the 9th edition, was released in 2017.

According to the FDA, benefits of adoption of the 2017 Food Code 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.”

The Collaborative supports full adoption of the Model Food Code across U.S. states and territories, and tribal governments as a comprehensive strategy to reduce the spread of foodborne illness.

Please click the link below to visit the FDA Food Code page and to see the 2017 version of the food code itself.

FDA Food Code 2017 (Webpage)
FDA Food Code 2017 (PDF)

Decoding the Food Code

The FDA has released an online training module developed to help stakeholders, including all levels of government and industry, understand the foundational policy principles of the Food Code including its structure, nomenclature, and conventions. The training module, titled Decoding the Food Code, is a resource that helps fill gaps in knowledge and can empower local regulators and other stakeholders to better interpret and utilize the Food Code to prevent foodborne illness. Decoding the Food Code is available for free on FDA’s website.

Decoding the Food Code (website)

Last Updated: 10-11-2021