FDA Releases the Latest Edition of the Food Code
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration put out the latest edition of the Food Code right at the end of 2022. The Food Code is the set of recommendations that ensure food safety in retail and food service settings. It is revised periodically, the previous edition was published in 2017.
In the United States, federal, state and local jurisdictions have responsibility for overseeing food safety. Commonly it is local health departments that are actually on the ground ensuring that the food being served in restaurants, schools, hospitals and other food service settings is safe. The FDA Food Code provides scientifically based best practices on a diverse set of topics that effect the safety of the food we eat. These recommendations are adopted by individual jurisdictions responsible for food safety.
As a reminder to our readers, Section 4-501.112 Mechanical Warewashing Equipment, Hot Water Sanitization Temperatures is the portion of the Food Code that sets out the guidelines for sanitizing food contact surfaces and utensils. For hot water sanitizing dishwashers, the code remains "The surface temperature must reach at least 71ºC (160ºF) as measured by an irreversible registering temperature measuring device to affect sanitization". The current FDA Food Code continues to require an irreversible temperature indicator such as the TL1-160 Thermolabel® temperature label. The temperature indicator must be irreversible. Verifying that dish surface temperature is reaching 160°F during wash and final rinse cycles helps keep our food safe.
This recent edition of the Food Code marks it's 30 year anniversary. Prior to 1993, The Food Code was preceded by other sets of recommendations published by various departments. The uniform foundation created by the Food Code's guidelines has allowed local jurisdictions to create a standard for food safety across the country.