About Food Protection
The Division of Food control is responsible for assuring that all foods processed, prepared, stored, distributed, and served at both the retail and wholesale levels throughout the State are safe, wholesome, free of adulterants, and properly packaged and labeled.
This is assured by a comprehensive program which includes: facility and process review; inspection of food establishments; licensing and certification of facilities; training and information sharing with local health departments and industry; Statewide food safety initiatives; food sampling and analysis; product registration; consultation and complaint investigation; and enforcement of laws and regulations. In addition, this Division maintains a food processing inspectional contract with the Food and Drug Administration, coordinates the federally funded Child Nutrition and Food Distribution Programs for the DHMH facilities, participates in emergency response training both at the state and Federal levels, and conducts research on food and safety issues. The retail and wholesale food programs are rated to provide consistency and quality assurance by the staff outside of the division.
What We Do
- Involved in policymaking, training and information sharing
- Conducts enforcement and epidemiological investigations of food establishments.
- Has direct inspection and enforcement responsibilities for shellfish plants, crabmeat plants, seafood HACCP, canneries, food manufacturing plants, frozen food plants, ice manufacturing plants, confectionery plants, food warehouses, soft drink and water bottling plants.
- Has inspection and enforcement of food processing plants, which are not delegated to the local health departments.
- Conducts plan review for all food processing plants and chain/franchise food service facilities.
- Registers out-of-state bottled water and soft drink products.
- Coordinates the federal requirements for the Child Nutritional and Commodity Food Distribution Programs for DHMH facilities.
- Responds to emergencies involved with food tampering or contamination.