On February 12, 2018, the US FDA published its 2017 food code. The FDA food Code is a model code to help assure food safety at US retailers, vending and food service operations and by regulatory agencies can assure compliance to a common set of standards.

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On February 12, 2018, the United States Food and Drug Administration (US FDA) published its 2017 food code [1]. The FDA food Code is a model code to help assure food safety at US retailers, vending and food service operations and by which State, City, County, Tribal and Territorial Regulatory Agencies can assure compliance to a common set of standards to those industries.

The 2017 Food Code replaces the 2013 Food Code and its 2015 supplement.

The food code – which is completely updated every four years, and has been since its inception in 1993 – offers a model code for food safety with regard to management and personnel, food handling, equipment, water and waste, physical facilities, poisonous materials and compliance/enforcement to those food retail and food service operators in the US and their suppliers.

Significant changes noted in the 2017 Food Code include: 

  • Revised requirement for the Person in Charge to be a Certified Food Protection Manager
  • Added, a new section that addresses the use of bandages, finger cots or finger stalls
  • Harmonized cooking time/temperature parameters for intact and non-intact meat and poultry in accordance with guidance from the US Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service
  • Updated procedures for retail food establishment operations to continue during an extended water or electrical outage if a written emergency operation plan has been pre-approved by the Regulatory Authority, immediate corrective action taken, and the Regulatory Authority has been notified upon implementation of the plan

As of December 31, 2016, the 2013 or prior food codes have been adopted in part or fully by all 50 states and the 3 out of 6 major territorial regulatory agencies that regulate more than 1,000,000 retail and food service operations. Not every state agency within a state has adopted the code, for example, in 2001 the New York Department of Agriculture and Vermont Department of Health adopted the code, but their counterparts the New York State Department of Health and Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food & markets have not adopted the code. Not every state or territory has adopted the most recent code as – 19 out of 53 have adopted the 2013 code [2].

SGS is committed to keeping you informed of regulatory news and developments. Leveraging our global network of laboratories and food experts, SGS provides a comprehensive range of food safety and quality solutions including analytical testing, audits, certifications, inspections and technical support. We continually invest in our world class testing capabilities and state-of-the-art technology to help you reduce risks, and improve food safety and quality. For further information please visit our website www.foodsafety.sgs.com.

For enquiries, please contact:

James Cook
Food Scientific and Regulatory Affairs Manager
t: +01 973 461 1493

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