Virginia Regulatory Town Hall
Virginia Department of Health
State Board of Health
Food Regulations [12 VAC 5 ‑ 421]
Amend Regulations to be consistent with the 2013 USFDA Food Code and the Supplement to the Food Code
Action 4497
General Information
Action Summary The Food Regulations establish minimum sanitary standards for operating food establishments. Those standards include the safe and sanitary maintenance, storage, operation, and use of equipment, the safe preparation, handling, protection, and preservation of food, including necessary refrigeration and heating methods, procedures for vector and pest control, requirements for toilet and cleansing facilities for employees and customers, requirements for appropriate lighting and ventilation not otherwise provided for in the Uniform Statewide Building Code, requirements for an approved water supply and sewage disposal system, personal hygiene standards for employees, particularly those engaged in food handling, and the appropriate use of precautions to prevent the transmission of communicable diseases. The regulations also inform potential food establishment owners or operators how to obtain a permit to operate a food establishment from the Department of Health. The regulations are being amended to be consistent with the current 2013 Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) Food Code and the Supplement to the 2013 FDA Food Code. The current regulation is based on the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) 2005 Food Code and the 2005 Food Code Supplement. The existing regulation is being amended to be consistent with the current 2013 FDA Food Code. Many of the changes simply refine and provide further clarity to our existing regulations. Significant changes include (i) the addition of cut leafy greens to the list of foods that food establishments need to refrigerate in order to ensure that the product is safe to consume; (ii) food establishments must have employees who are fully informed regarding food allergens and their dangers; (iii) food establishment employees must be aware of their responsibility to inform management of any health or illness issues that might affect the safety of food products; (iv) the establishment must have procedures in place for addressing vomitus or fecal matter discharge on surfaces in the food establishment; (v) wild mushrooms cannot be sold unless the establishment has been approved to do so by the regulatory authority; (vi) bare hand contact with ready-to-eat food ingredients is allowed in certain instances; (vii) game animals that are sold must be raised, slaughtered, and processed under a voluntary inspection program that is conducted by the United States Department of Agriculture or the state agency that has animal health jurisdiction; (viii) the food establishment must discontinue operations and notify the Virginia Department of Health (VDH) if an imminent health hazard exists at the establishment; (ix) the establishment must immediately contact the VDH to report a food employee illness due to nontyphoidal Salmonella if it is determined that the illness is of a nature that can be transmitted through food; (x) the establishment must correct all Priority Item violations within 72 hours and all Priority Foundation Item violations within 10 days; and (xi) the food establishment must have at least one supervisor who is a Certified Food Protection Manager, with some exceptions. These changes are being proposed concurrently with the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services’ (VDACS) adoption of the current 2013 FDA Food Code and the Supplement. Pursuant to § 35.1-14 C and E of the Code of Virginia, this action is exempt from portions of the Administrative Process Act, provided VDACS adopts the same version and both agencies' regulations have the same effective date. Both agencies are working toward that end. Both VDH and VDACS previously adopted the 2005 FDA Code and the Supplement with an effective date of January 1, 2010.
Chapters Affected Only affects this chapter.
Executive Branch Review This action is subject to Article 2 of the Administrative Process Act, but it is not subject to the full executive branch review process.
Reason: Virginia Code Section 35.1-14 (E) grants a partial exemption in that while a DPB economic impact analysis is required, the action is otherwise exempt from executive branch review
RIS Project Yes  [002701]
Associated Mandates Food Allergen Awareness and Safety
New Periodic Review This action will not be used to conduct a new periodic review.
Stages associated with this regulatory action.
Stage ID Stage Type Status
7417 Proposed Stage complete. Comment period ended 04/23/2016.
7563 Final Stage complete. This regulation became effective on 07/12/2016.
Contact Information
Name / Title: Julie Henderson  / Director, Office of Environmental Health Services
109 Governor St.
Richmond, VA 23219
Email Address:
Phone: (804)864-7455    FAX: (804)864-7475    TDD: (800)828-1120

This person is the primary contact for this chapter.