Food Safety Branch

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​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. ​

Programs and Services

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. 

​​​​​Report​ H​ere

Kentucky Food Protection Task For​ce 

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 visit 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, visit the Retail Food Program web page.

Kentucky Food Manufacturing Program

Our central office develops statewide food and cosmetic manufacturing program plans, objectives, policies an​d procedures and carries out the inspection program from the state level.  Area food manufacturing Inspectors conduct food and cosmetic safety inspections of wholesale food and cosmetic processing and storage establishments.​ For more information on regulations and permits, visit the​ Food Manufacturing Program web page.

Certificates for Free Sale or Export

Permitted Food Manufa​cturers 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, visit the Certificates for Free Sale or Export web page.

Home-Based Processing

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, visit 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, visit the Microprocessing web page.

​Acknowledgement of Federal Support​​​​​

The Kentucky Food Manufacturing Program, Food Protection Task Force, and Rapid Response Team are partially funded by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) as part of a financial assistance awards U2FFD008077, and U2FFD008043. The contents are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent the official views of, nor an endorsement, by FDA, or the U.S. Government.​