Who Regulates our Food?

A guide to federal, state and local agencies responsible for food safety


Federal Regulatory Agencies

U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA)/Food Safety Inspection Service (FSIS)

Primary regulatory jurisdiction:

  • Domestic and imported meat, poultry, processed egg, and siluriformes fish (i.e. catfish) products
  • Administers the Meat and Poultry HACCP Rules
  • Inspections; analysis of food samples; voluntary recalls

Other food safety related functions

  • Research and education for consumers and industry


U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA)/Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS)

Primary regulatory jurisdiction:

  • No regulatory jurisdiction: role is primarily marketing in focus

Other food safety related functions

  • Good Agricultural Practices Audit program: voluntary third party audit program for safe handling of fresh produce on the farm


US Food and Drug Administration (FDA)

Primary regulatory jurisdiction (approximately 80 percent of the food supply is regulated by FDA):

  • Regulates all domestic and imported food sold in interstate commerce, except meat and poultry
  • Administers the Food Safety Modernization Act, which includes the Produce Safety Rule, the Preventive Controls for Human Food Rule and the Preventive Controls for Animal Food Rule, among others.
  • Administers the Seafood HACCP Program; Fresh Juice HACCP Program
  • Inspections and enforcement
  • Review of drugs, additives, animal feeds
  • Model retail food codes; guidelines for state food protection programs
  • Good Manufacturing Practices; HACCP programs for seafood, juice, milk

Other food safety related functions

  • Education and training for state regulators and consumers


Centers for Disease Control (CDC)

  • Investigates foodborne illness outbreaks
  • Performs foodborne disease surveillance
  • Defines policies
  • Funds and conducts research
  • Education
  • Safety of drinking water
  • Regulates toxic substances
  • Pesticide safety and use


State and Local Regulatory Agencies

Connecticut State Department of Public Health Food Protection Program
Phone: 860.509.7297

  • Regulatory jurisdiction for restaurants, institutions via the state food code regulations
  • Support local health departments/sanitarians with technical assistance and training
  • Foodborne outbreak investigations

Connecticut State Department of Consumer Protection, Food Division
Phone: 860.713.6160

  • Regulatory jurisdiction for food processors (not including meat and poultry), bakeries, frozen dairy foods, fresh juices/cider, other beverages, seafood; retail grocery stores, farm markets and butcher shops
  • Partners with the FDA to conduct inspections

Connecticut State Department of Agriculture
Phone: 860.713.2500

  • Inspection of dairy operations, small poultry slaughter operations (that do not require federal inspection), and produce farms, partnering with the FDA to administer the Produce Safety Rule

Connecticut State Department of Environmental Protection
Phone: 860.424.3000

  • Pesticide regulation, training, water quality issues

Local Health Departments

Find a list of city/town/district health departments here.

  • Restaurants, institutions, foodservice in grocery stores, special food events, caterers