Government Inspection and Food Compliance

All food produced in the United States is regulated by the government. Rules are defined by the:

These organizations help ensure that food meets basic health and production standards. They also monitor potentially hazardous outbreaks.

Each organization is different. They have their own responsibilities for food monitoring.

Food and Drug Administration

The FDA is part of the United States Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). Its purpose is to monitor and approve the production of food and drugs,

Ensuring food safety is an essential part of the FDA mission. They do this by:

  • making sure food is labeled accurately
  • regulating food additives and supplements
  • preventing contamination of human and animal food
  • checking the safety of human and animal food

Food labeling is one of the most visible jobs of the FDA. They decide how to name and label foods. They also determine what nutrition information is required on food labels.

Department of Agriculture

The USDA monitors the safety, trade, and production of agricultural goods. All agricultural products produced or sold in the United States must adhere to USDA rules. Part of the USDA’s mission is to “provide leadership on food, agriculture, natural resources, and related issues.”

The USDA, not the FDA, is responsible for the safety and labeling of commercially packaged:

  • meat
  • poultry
  • eggs

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Like the FDA, the CDC is part of HHS. Its mission is to protect the United States from diseases.

The CDC’s primary food safety responsibility is preventing foodborne diseases. As part of this role, the CDC:

  • tracks outbreaks of food poisoning
  • monitors the public health burden of foodborne diseases
  • investigates outbreaks
  • contributes to food safety policy