The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued the 2013 edition of the FDA Food Code on November 13, 2013. Release of this model food code provides all levels of government and industry with practical, science-based guidance and manageable provisions for mitigating known risks of foodborne illness.
The Food Code represents FDA’s best advice for a uniform system of provisions that address the safety and protection of food offered at retail and in food service, and has been widely adopted by state, local, tribal and territorial regulatory agencies that regulate more than one million restaurants, retail food stores, vending operations and food service operations in schools, hospitals, nursing homes, and child care centers.
Significant changes to the 2013 Food Code include the following:
Restaurants and food stores must post signs notifying their customers that inspection information is available for review.
Nontyphoidal Salmonella is added to the list of illnesses that food workers are required to report to their management and that prompts management to exclude or restrict employees from working with food.
New requirements that better address emerging trends in food establishments such as the use of reduced oxygen packaging methods and the reuse and refilling of take-home food containers.
Revisions to the minimum cooking temperatures associated with procedures such as non-continuous cooking and circumstances under which bare-hand contact with ready-to-eat foods is permitted.
Stronger requirements for cleaning and sanitizing equipment used in preparing raw foods that are major food allergens.
The 2013 FDA Food Code is available on the FDA website at http://www.fda.gov/FoodCode.