The above map was created as a part of the Retail Food Safety Regulatory Association Collaborative’s specific objective 1: Develop a national Food Code adoption strategy and provide tools and resources to our regulatory partners to support these efforts. It reflects statutory or regulatory adoption of the FDA Food Code at the state level as of January 2021.

The above information is based on research performed by the National Environmental Health Association (NEHA). NEHA gathered this information in January 2021 from research into state statutes and regulations done through the Westlaw database. NEHA makes no warranty, express or implied, as to the current status of any state position regarding the adoption of the FDA Food Code.

Introduction 

The Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) Food Code is a model code for safeguarding public health and is a scientifically sound, technical resource that can be used to regulate the retail segment of the food industry. Thousands of state, local, tribal, and territorial (SLTT) government agencies with responsibility over regulating retail foods may find this model code to be of great benefit in protecting the retail food supply in their communities. This model code is a useful reference document, which provides uniform guidance on food safety and sanitation for SLTT agencies. FDA issues a new edition of the Food Code every 4 years and supplementals are released in the intervening 2 years.

In 2020, the Collaborative’s Food Code Adoption Toolkit Working Group disseminated a survey to 221 SLTT retail food regulatory programs. Results of this survey informed the creation of this resource. The Food Code Adoption Toolkit is designed to be a living resource that is frequently updated as new tools and information become available and contributions added in support of the adoption of the Food Code.


Toolkit Quick Links

Background
Statements of Support
Resources
Support
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How to use the Toolkit

This Toolkit serves multiple purposes. First, it may be used as a resource to learn more about the Food Code and how it is implemented in jurisdictions around the country. It can also be used as a tool to influence decision-makers such as legislators, board members, and other individuals in leadership positions that can help drive the importance of using the most current, science-based standards to promote public health in the communities they serve. This Toolkit contains valuable resources for food safety professionals at all levels and is maintained by the members of the Food Code Adoption Toolkit Working group of the Collaborative.

The following video provides more information about what is in each section of the Toolkit, how to navigate it, and how these materials may be used to forward Food Code adoption in your jurisdiction.

Background

Results of a survey of SLTT food regulatory program representatives with information about their jurisdiction’s Food Code adoption processes, challenges, and successes.

FDA report that outlines the most recent Food Code adoption status of states and territories across the nation. This can be used as a tool for the evaluation of neighboring or similarly structured states.

Image of front page of the 2019 Annual Food Code Adoption Report

FDA Food Code (FDA Webpage)

View the FDA Food Code page, which contains links to each version of the Food Code, along with supporting documents, such as summaries of changes from one version to the next.

List of the cross-cutting benefits for government and industry, as well as the regulatory benefits of Food Code Adoption.

A searchable database that provides access to FDA’s interpretative positions and responses to questions related to the FDA Food Code, intended to promote consistent understanding and application of the Food Code. Users can search the database to answer questions about nuances in the Food Code

The Retail Program Standards serve as a guide to regulatory retail food program managers in the design and management of a retail food regulatory program and provide a means of recognition for those programs that meet these standards.

This standard applies to the regulatory foundation used by a retail food program. A requirement of Standard 1 is that the regulatory foundation includes provisions for public health interventions contained in one of the two most recent previous editions of the Food Code.  

Information about jurisdictions that have enrolled in the VNRFRPS. The information is updated on a quarterly basis to reflect new enrollments, as well as to recognize achievements made by current enrollees.

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Statements of Support

Policy Statements

A list of Policy Statements created by national associations with an interest in promoting Food Code Adoption across the Nation. These statements can be provided to legislators and decision-makers to help justify adoption of the most current version of the Food Code.

NACCHO Food System Safety Policy Statement (PDF)
NEHA Policy Statement on the Adoption and Implementation of the Current Food and Drug Administration’s Food Code (PDF)

Letters of Support

Letters of support of Food Code Adoption from regulatory programs, industry organizations and members, associations, academia, and agencies around the country. These letters can be provided legislators and decision-makers to help justify adoption of the most current version of the Food Code.

Submit a Statement of Support

Organizations interested in submitting a letter of support for Food Code adoption to be included in the Toolkit may use the templates below.

Testimonials

Food Code Adoption Testimonials that support the adoption of the FDA model Food Code.

“Staying current with Food Code is the choice to embrace the best scientific practice available as the tools to serve our mission of protecting our communities from food borne[SIC] illness.”

Sandra D. Craig
Director, Division of Food and Lead Risk Assessments
S.C. Dept. of Health & Environmental Control

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Resources

These resources provide helpful information that may supplement promotion tactics for Food Code Adoption.

Citation
For key takeaways from this study, visit CDC’s EHS-Net study findings page.
Adoption of Food Code Provisions Is Linked to Lower Rates of Foodborne Norovirus Outbreaks
Citation
Citation
Citation

Food Safety Practices Linked with Proper Refrigerator Temperatures in Retail Delis (PubMed Webpage) (2018, Foodborne Pathogens and Disease)

Citation
For key takeaways from this and five other related studies visit CDC’s EHS-Net plain language study findings page.
Retail Delis Can Address Gaps in Food Safety: Key Takeaways from 5 Scientific Articles

Food Service Certification: Measuring the Effectiveness of a State Program (JSTOR Webpage) (1990, Journal of Environmental Health)

Citation
Citation

Linked article has been republished with permission by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Citation
For key takeaways from this and two other related studies, visit CDC’s EHS-Net plain language study findings page.
Food Cooling Practice Improvements: Key Takeaways from 3 Food Safety Reports
Citation
For key takeaways from this study, read CDC’s plain language summary.
Norovirus Outbreaks and Restaurant Practices
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Support

Decoding the Food Code II (Virtual Training)

An online training module on the Food Code Preface to help understand the Food Code better. Use Chrome browser to access. This training takes approximately 30 minutes to complete.

FDA’s Retail Food Specialists can support Food Code adoption in several ways in their assigned state, local, tribal, and territorial regulatory agencies. This document provides an overview of the types of support they can provide.

FDA’s Retail Food Specialists work with their assigned state, local, tribal, and territorial regulatory agencies daily to provide technical assistance. Contact the Specialist for your area to assist with Food Code adoption.

FDA Training (FDA Webpage)

3-day virtual instructor led course covers the recommendations and guidance provided in the 2017 FDA Food Code for state and local regulators conducting inspections of retail food and foodservice establishments. The course may also be of benefit to some federal regulators and food industry representatives.

A searchable database that provides access to FDA’s interpretative positions and responses to questions related to the FDA Food Code, intended to promote consistent understanding and application of the Food Code. Users can search the database to answer questions about nuances in the Food Code. 

A one-page document highlighting benefits of Food Code adoption specifically tailored for legislative audiences.

Downloadable and printable infographic describing the kitchen manager certification, including its food safety benefits and cost justification, and providing information on the FDA Food Code

Image showing the first page of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Kitchen Manager Certification Infographic
Image showing the second page of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Kitchen Manager Certification Infographic

Repository of FDA website links and materials for enhancing food safety training efforts at the retail level, as well as information for regulatory partners.

Links to the FDAs many retail food protection resources, designed to assist regulatory agencies and the industries they regulate.

Educational materials that can be used to emphasize the important role that food employees play in protecting public health. Resources include downloadable posters/storyboards and videos provided in multiple languages. 

A one-page document highlighting lessons learned during the food code adoption process from state, local, territorial, and tribal food regulatory programs. 

Need more support? Reach out to us!

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Submit Feedback

Share your thoughts, feedback, and additional resources.

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Last Updated: 06-07-2022