Project Description

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.


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

Benefits of Food Code Adoption
Statements of Support
Submit Feedback

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.


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

FDA Food Code (FDA Webpage)

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Benefits of Food Code Adoption

The benefits of Food Code Adoption can be found in various formats.

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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.

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.

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.


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

Bedford, B., Liggans, G., Williams, L., Jackson, L. (2020). Allergen Removal and Transfer with Wiping and Cleaning Methods Used in Retail and Food Service Establishments. Journal of Food Protection, 83(7), 1248-1260.

Brown, L. G., Hoover, E. R., Faw, B. V., Hedeen, N. K., Nicholas, D., Wong, M. R., Shepherd, C., Gallagher, D. L., & Kause, J. R. (2018). Food Safety Practices Linked with Proper Refrigerator Temperatures in Retail Delis. Foodborne pathogens and disease, 15(5), 300–307.

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

Hoover, E. R., Hedeen, N., Freeland, A., Kambhampati, A., Dewey-Mattia, D., Scott, K. W., Hall, A., & Brown, L. (2020). Restaurant Policies and Practices Related to Norovirus Outbreak Size and Duration. Journal of food protection, 83(9), 1607–1618.

For key takeaways from this study, read CDC’s plain language summary.
Norovirus Outbreaks and Restaurant Practices

Kambhampati, A., Shioda, K., Gould, L. H., Sharp, D., Brown, L. G., Parashar, U. D., & Hall, A. J. (2016). A state-by-state assessment of food service regulations for prevention of norovirus outbreaks. Journal of Food Protection, 79(9), 1527-1536.

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

Kneller, P., & Bierma, T. (1990). Food Service Certification: Measuring the effectiveness of a state program. Journal of Environmental Health, 52(5), 292-294.

Liggans, G.L., Boyer, M.S., Williams, L.B., Destromp, K.W., Hoang, S.T. (2019). Food Safety Management Systems, Certified Food Protection Managers, and Compliance with Food Safety Practices Associated with the Control of Listeria monocytogenes in Foods at Restaurants. Journal of Food Protection, 82(7), 1116-1123.

Liggans, G. L., Moore, V. S., Boyer, M.S., Williams, L.B. (2020). Assessing Employee Health Policies for Reporting and Excluding Ill Food Employees in Restaurants within the United States. Journal of Food Protection. In Press.

Lipcsei, L., & Kambhampati, A. (2016). Improving food safety through prevention: CDC’s food safety prevention status report.Journal of Environmental Health, 79(2), 46. 

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

Reed, K., Brown, L., Ripley, D., Hedeen, N., Nicholas, D., Faw, B., Bushnell, L., Nair, P., & Wickam, T. (2020). Restaurant Characteristics Associated With the Use of Specific Food-Cooling Methods.  Journal of Environmental Health, 82(10).

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
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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.

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

Need more support? Reach out to us!

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Submit Feedback

Share your thoughts, feedback, and additional resources.

How helpful was the information in this toolkit? *
Comments will be taken into consideration as we continuously revise and improve this tool kit. We thank you for your time and insight.
Submit a link to a tool or resource on the web for consideration for inclusion in the toolkit.
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Last Updated: 10-05-2021