Retail and Food Service Professionals

Food Code

The Food Code is a model for safeguarding public health and ensuring food is unadulterated and honestly presented when offered to the consumer. It 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.

This model is offered for adoption by local, state, and federal governmental jurisdictions for administration by the various departments, agencies, bureaus, divisions, and other units within each jurisdiction that have been delegated compliance responsibilities for food service, retail food stores, or food vending operations. Alternatives that offer an equivalent level of public health protection to ensure that food at retail and foodservice is safe are recognized in this model.


This booklet, intended for retail establishments, food service, and restaurants, provides an overview of foodborne illness and the disease caused by Listeria monocytogenes.


Proper handwashing is critical in a food service operation to prevent the transfer of microorganisms. This video outlines the FDA Food Code guidelines around proper handwashing technique and requirements in a food service operation, including the use of hand antiseptics.

Cooking foods to the proper temperature destroys harmful bacteria that may be present in the food. The only sure way to know that food has reached the recommended temperature is to check it with a calibrated thermometer. This video describes the proper steps in taking the temperature of food to help ensure its safety.

When used correctly, gloves serve as a barrier to prevent bare hand contact with ready to eat foods. This video discusses the FDA Food Code guidelines for the proper use of gloves in a food service operation.

In this video we will discuss various tools used in maintaining knives and other blades. Various knife types are shown, along with tips of keeping these items sharp and various techniques used to sharpening and hone the edge of a knife.

Date marking on food packages can be confusing! This video explains the differences between open dating, closed dating and other codes found on food packages.

Cleaning removes visible solids while sanitizing reduces pathogens on surfaces to safe levels. This video describes standards for proper cleaning and sanitizing.

This video discusses two different types of thermometers, their usage and need for calibration to assure foods are cooked and held at correct temperatures.

Cold temperatures maintain the quality of food and slow the growth of pathogens. Following proper guidelines outlined in this video can help ensure food safety.

Cross contamination is a major risk factor for foodborne illness. This video discusses the FDA Food Code guidelines to prevent cross contamination of food.