The Food Safety Branch of the Department for Public Health protects consumers from the sale of adulterated, misbranded and falsely labeled foods and food products.
We help make sure food products are safe in restaurants, grocery stores, hospitals, nursing homes, schools, food processing plants, food/beverage vending machines, hotels, fairs, festivals and other locations where food is offered to the public.
The Food Safety Branch provides technical assistance and guidance to health departments carrying out state laws and regulations at the local level. The branch also provides training and information to the industry and consumers and issues permits to qualified providers.
Food Safety Reporting
Need to report a suspected foodborne illness? You can file an online foodborne illness report at KY Food Safety Reporting soon after an illness occurs.
Kentucky Food Protection Task Force
The Kentucky Food Protection Task Force works to build and strengthen partnerships with state, local, federal, academic, industry and consumer groups to protect and defend our food supply. For industry and regulatory resources including contacts, guidance documents and training aids, visit the
Kentucky Food Protection Task Force web page.
Kentucky Food Code
Regulations governing the state food code have been amended, improving safety and health standards for food storage, preparation and serving. The Kentucky Food Establishment Act and State Retail Food Code, which governs food regulations across the commonwealth, reflect the 2013 FDA food code. For more information and local health department resources, please see the Kentucky Food Code Resource web page.
Retail Food Program
Local health departments carry out the retail food program in each county. For more information on grocery stores, restaurants, temporary food operations, concessions, food trucks, micro markets or establishment fixture requirements, see the Retail Food Program web page.
Kentucky Food Manufacturing Program
Our central office develops statewide food manufacturing program plans, objectives, policies and procedures and carries out the inspection program from the state level. Area food manufacturing inspectors conduct food safety inspections of wholesale food processing and storage establishments. For more information on regulations and permits, see the Food Manufacturing Program web page.
Certificates for Free Sale or Export
Permitted Food Manufacturers in Kentucky with a valid permit to operate may request Certificates for Free Sale or Export directly from the Food Safety Branch. For required forms and fees, see the Certificates for Free Sale or Export web page.
The Home-based Processing program allows Kentucky residents to produce or process certain items in their home kitchen and market those items at approved locations within the state, directly to the consumer. For more information, see the Home-Based Processing web page.
Certified Home-based microprocessors who grow a predominate agronomic ingredient and meet further requirements may grow, harvest and process acid foods, formulated acid food products, acidified food products and low-acid canned foods. For applications and further information, see the Microprocessing web page.