Virginia Regulatory Town Hall
Virginia Department of Health
State Board of Health
Food Regulations [12 VAC 5 ‑ 421]
Amend Chapter 421 to Adopt 2022 FDA Food Code
Action 6418
General Information
Action Summary The Food Regulations (12VAC5-421 et seq.) establish minimum sanitary standards for the operation of the Commonwealth’s food establishments, which include traditional restaurants, mobile food units, temporary food vendors, hospital and nursing facility food service, and school food service. Those standards include: (1) the safe and sanitary maintenance, storage, operation, and use of equipment; (2) the safe preparation, handling, protection, and preservation of food, including necessary refrigeration and heating methods; (3) procedures for vector and pest control; (4) requirements for toilet and cleansing facilities for employees and customers; (5) requirements for appropriate lighting and ventilation not otherwise provided for in the Uniform Statewide Building Code; (6) requirements for an approved water supply and sewage disposal system; (7) personal hygiene standards for employees, particularly those engaged in food handling; and (8) the appropriate use of precautions to prevent the transmission of communicable diseases. The proposed regulatory action would amend the existing Food Regulations to incorporate, in part, 2022 amendments to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Food Code. Proposed edits include the addition and revision of definitions, updates to cross references, and changes to standards related to temperatures, food donation, and risk categorization. The FDA Food Code serves as a model document to assist state and local agencies with regulatory authority over food safety by creating a regulatory scheme that reflects the most current science available to reduce the risk of food borne illnesses associated with food establishments. Additional amendments are intended to ensure clarity and uniform application.
Chapters Affected Only affects this chapter.
Executive Branch Review This action will go through the normal Executive Branch Review process.
RIS Project Yes  [7483]
Is Federal action a driving factor in this regulatory change? If so, please provide a specific reference to the law, regulation or court case.
United States Food and Drug Administration published 2022 Food Code
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
10257 Fast-Track Secretary of Health and Human Resources review in progress.
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.