Food Code Revisions

Learn about the most recent revisions to the FDA’s leading guidelines about food safety and how they affect people with food allergies.

The Food Code is a summary of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) best advice for uniform systems and practices that address the safety of food sold in food service and certain retail establishments. The 2013 Food Code includes provisions designed to improve how restaurants address the needs of customers with food allergy and a call for restaurant and retail food service managers to be aware of the serious nature of food allergy.

According to Section 2-102.11 of the Code, food establishments should have a person in charge during all hours of operation who is knowledgeable about major food allergens, , the symptoms of an allergic reaction, and proper cleaning procedures to prevent cross-contact. In addition, the person in charge (according to Section 2-103.11 of the Code) should ensure that employees are properly trained in food safety issues, including food allergy awareness, as it is related to their assigned duties.

The FDA updates the Food Code approximately every four years. The Code is used by state, city, county, tribal, and territorial agencies to help regulate restaurants, retail food stores, and vending and food service operations in institutions such as schools, hospitals, nursing homes, and child care centers. The 2013 edition of the Code is the eighth edition published by the FDA. The previous version of the Code was released in 2009, and was amended in 2007. Individual states, however, must adopt the Food Code and the status of adoption by state can vary.  The next Food Code revision will be in 2017.

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