Food Law


Processing Sector

These pages describe the regulation of the food processing sector.
This page begins the discussion of U.S. regulation of its food processing sector by suggesting a description of the food processing sector, and introducing the general requirements of a state license and federal registration.
Regulatory Agencies/Registration & License
State law generally requires food processors to be licensed; federal law requires food facilities to be registered.
Rules and Standards for Food Processing
This page offers some details about provide some details about FDA’s GMPs, USDA & FDA's SSOPs, FDA & USDA's HACCP, FDA's Food Safety Plans, and FDA & USDA's Food Defense Plans.
Topics include recordkeeping of suppliers, internal activities, and customers/buyers. Records promote traceability and provide documentation that the food business has followed appropriate practices.
Standard of Identity, Petitions, Food Additives, Food Product Claims, and Organic Food
This page introduces U.S. federal law pertaining to standard of identity for food products; petitioning for regulations; food ingredients, additives and GRAS; claims a manufacturer may make about its food product and an introduction to standards for organic foods.
Packaging, Labeling, Transporting, Storing
Food processing is a multi-step process. This page reviews laws that address several of these steps: packaging, labeling, transporting, and storing.
Inspections & Audits
This page outlines the expectations of federal and state inspections of food processors, inspection procedures and the government authority to inspect the firm's records. The page also introduces food industry standards and audits/certification.
Advertising and Consumer Information
Advertising and other information that misleads a consumer about a food product renders that food misbranded and illegal to sell.
Rules for Specific Foods
Specific foods have experinced unique food safety issues. This page reviews U.S. government response to these unique situations.
Import and Export of Food
Responding to a Food Safety Problem
Before discussing the details of additional legal requirements for food processing firms, it may be helpful to introduce the consequences for a firm that fails to meet all the legal expectations.


This material is intended for educational purposes only. It is not a substitute for competent legal counsel. Seek appropriate professional advice for answers to your specific questions.

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