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Who We Are

​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 &

Kentucky Food Code

Regulations governing the state's 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 regulation, which governs food regulations across the commonwealth, reflects the 2013 FDA food code.

Kentucky Food Code Resources

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.

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, 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.

Microprocessing web page

Tattoo, Body Piercing and Ear Piercing Program

The Food Safety Branch develops and helps local health departments carry out the state Tattoo, Body Piercing and Ear Piercing Program plans, objectives, policies and procedures.

Tattoo, Body Piercing and Ear Piercing web page

Boarding Homes

The Food Safety Branch regulates boarding homes in Kentucky.

Boarding Home Program web page