FDA Releases 2022 Food Code

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Key changes include the addition of sesame as a major food allergen.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently released the 2022 Food Code, a document aimed at preventing foodborne illness and setting food safety standards.

The 2022 version is the 10th edition of the Food Code. The FDA updates the Food Code every four years, and it guides public health officials and retailers as 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.”

There have been several major Food Code changes since the previous edition:  

  • Sesame has been declared as a major food allergen, effective at the start of 2023. It becomes the ninth labeled food allergen
  • Written notification is required about major food allergens as ingredients in unpackaged food.
  • Major food allergens must be labeled in bulk food from which consumers self-serve. 
  • Clarification of time and temperature cooking requirements for intact meats. 
  • Revision of the definition of intact meat:
    • A cut of whole muscle meat that has not undergone comminution, mechanical tenderization, vacuum tumbling with solutions, reconstruction, cubing or pounding. 
  • Guidance for food donations, to help reduce food waste as part of the Biden-Harris Administration’s National Strategy on Hunger, Nutrition, and Health:
    • Food that is stored, prepared, packaged, displayed and labeled in accordance to law and the FDA Food Code may be offered for donation. 
  • Allowance of pet dogs in outdoor dining areas, if approved by the regulatory authority.  

The Food Code is a model for upholding food safety standards, but each state can determine which edition of the Food Code to adopt. To better understand your state’s Food Code, contact your local health department.

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