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, and processed egg products
  • 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 Agricutural 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:

  • Regulates all domestic and imported food sold in interstate commerce, except meat and poultry      

(Approximately 80 percent of the food supply is regulated by FDA)

  • 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 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

  • Restaurants, institutions, investigations of outbreaks

Connecticut State Department of Consumer Protection, Food Division

Phone:  860.713.6160

  • Processors, farms, grocery stores

Connecticut State Department of Agriculture

Phone:  860.713.2500

  • Primarily marketing, dairy inspection

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