Food Safety and Inspection Regulations

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Food & Drug Administration Federal
The federal government regulates food safety and inspection for the production and sale of certain food items. These regulations act alongside City and State regulations.

If your business wishes to make or sell food at wholesale your business will likely need inspection, certification or a license from either or both the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) or the US Department of Agriculture (USDA). Some products must also be certified by the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). The following lists summarize which products need which certification.

At the federal level, the FDA regulates over 80% of the food supply, including seafood, dairy and produce. The USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS), regulates meat, poultry and processed egg products.

The NYS Department of Agriculture and Markets also regulates food safety.

The following products are regulated by the FDA:
  • eggs (in shell) and egg processing
  • exotic meat and non-domesticated birds
  • Produce, dairy and processed foods and juice
  • Fish, seafood, and shellfish
  • Products with 3% or less raw meat, 2% or less cooked meat, 30% or less fat, tallow, or meat extract, 10% or less cooked poultry skins and other parts
  • closed-face sandwiches.

The following products are regulated by the USDA:
  • Egg products (dried, frozen, or liquid)
  • Meat from domesticated animals
  • Raw fruits and vegetables
  • farmed catfish
  • Products with 3% or more raw meat, 2% or more cooked meat, or 30% or more fat, tallow, or meat extract
  • Open-faced sandwiches.

The NOAA regulates the grading of fish and seafood.

Businesses managing the following food products require HACCP or GMP protocols:
  • Managed by the FDA: Products containing less than 3% raw meat
  • Managed by the USDA: Products containing more than 3% raw meat, farmed catfish, meat from domesticated animals, and egg products (with some exceptions)

Certain establishments (listed above) must maintain hazard analysis and critical control points (or HACCP) protocols or abide by Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) to actively encourage safe handling practices and food quality. These protocols or practices vary depending on the agency. Click the following link for more information on HACCP and GMP.


For more information, contact:

U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA)
Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition
5100 Paint Branch Parkway, HFS-008
College Park, MD 20740
Phone: (888) 723-3366
industry@fda.gov
Website: http://www.fda.gov/food

U.S. Department of Agriculture
Food Safety and Inspections
701 Market Street, Suite 4100C
Philadelphia, PA 19106
Phone: (800) 233-3935
Website: http://www.fsis.usda.gov

NYS Department of Agriculture and Markets
Food Safety & Inspection Unit
10B Airline Drive
Albany, NY 12235
Phone: (518) 485-5326
foodlicense@agmkt.state.ny.us
Website: http://www.agriculture.ny.gov

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