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Community Agricultural Programs & Urban Food Hubs

Food Inspections, Product Dating, & Safe Handling

Because the U.S. food landscape is ever changing, the USDA works to provide a range of comprehensive food handling and food safety resources. The USDA also strives to actively manage those changes that might affect food processing and food distribution. Therefore, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) inspects domestic product, imports, and exports; conducts risk assessments, and educates the public about the importance of food safety. Through the USDA's Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) it "ensures that the nation's meat, poultry and processed egg supply are wholesome, safe, and properly labeled."

Food inspection is also an activity that falls to local city, county, and state governments, usually through the health department. There will be regulations and resources published by them that apply to restaurants, food trucks, farmers markets, etc. so it will be important to understand what is required in your jurisdiction.

Selected Books

The following materials link to fuller bibliographic information in the Library of Congress Online Catalog. Links to digital content are provided when available.