Late last year, the FDA issued the 2022 edition of the FDA Food Code providing guidance to state and local authorities and retailers to help mitigate foodborne illness risks at retail and provide a uniform set of national standards for retail food safety.
The 2022 edition commemorates 30 years of the FDA Food Code in its current format. It represents the 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 while it is a model code that is not required, it has been widely adopted by state, local, tribal and territorial agencies that regulate more than one million restaurants, retail food stores, vending operations and food service operations in schools, hospitals, nursing homes, and childcare centers.
The 2022 Food Code specifically addresses food donations for the first time and this new information is part of the Biden-Harris Administration’s National Strategy on Hunger, Nutrition, and Health. The National Strategy, which was rolled out in September at the White House Conference on Hunger, Nutrition, and Health, provides a roadmap of actions the federal government is taking to end hunger and reduce diet-related diseases by 2030 – all while reducing disparities.
One-third of all food in the U.S. goes uneaten. To prevent food loss and waste across the food supply chain, and help ensure safe, good-quality food gets to those who need it most, the 2022 Food Code has clarified that food that is stored, prepared, packaged, displayed, and labeled according to Food Code safety provisions can be donated.
Other significant changes to the 2022 Food Code include:
- Adding sesame as a major food allergen to reflect that the Food Allergy Safety, Treatment, Education, and Research Act of 2021 established sesame as the 9th major food allergen;
- Informing consumers, in writing, of major food allergens as ingredients in unpackaged food;
- Adding labeling of major food allergens in bulk food that is available for consumer self-dispensing;
- Creating new requirements for the allowance of pet dogs in outdoor dining spaces; and
- Revising the definition of intact meat, including enhancements to clarify time/temperature cooking requirements
Review a Summary of Changes in the 2022 Food Code here: https://www.fda.gov/food/fda-food-code/summary-changes-2022-fda-food-code