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Food Safety Program

Everyone, from the farmer to the consumer, has a role in keeping food safe. Protecting the safety of our food supply is a huge responsibility. Throughout Nebraska, the Department of Agriculture, and Local Health Departments regulate more than 10,500 food establishments and food processing plants. Routine and follow-up inspections are conducted to assure that these facilities are preparing, handling, serving, and/or storing food that is safe for consumption.

In addition, technical assistance and training on food safety issues to the foodservice industry is provided. Personnel also provide information to consumers on safe food handling practices, including personal hygiene, food preparation and food storage. It is through regulation and education that NDA will decrease the incidence of foodborne illness.

Nebraska strives to be a part of the integrated food safety system by complying with federal regulations and training requirements in course and field work. Nebraska’s Food Safety and Consumer Protection, is enrolled in the Manufactured Foods Regulatory Program Standards (MFRPS) and the Voluntary National Retail Food Regulatory Program Standards. FSCPs training program includes these federal programs, in addition to the Nebraska Food Code, Nebraska Pure Food Act, Federal Food Code, the Code of Federal Regulations (CFRs), Emergency Management, Department and Focus Area rules/policies, and all other training as may be required by the Nebraska Department of Agriculture in its continuing effort to ensure a well-trained, professional food safety inspection staff.


Government Agencies

Food safety activities are conducted by a wide array of governmental entities in the state.

FDA – United States Food and Drug Administration

  • Regulates imported food.
  • All food in interstate commerce is under the authority of FDA (moving between states).
  • Staff located in the state that inspect food processing plants.
  • Provides technical assistance and support to state food safety programs.
  • May conduct audits of state food safety programs.
  • Provides funding in support of state food safety programs.
  • Provides oversight of the Conference for Food Protection who recommends changes to the FDA food code.
USDA - United States Department of Agriculture
  • Regulates the sale of meat and poultry products in interstate commerce.
  • Regulates meat production facilities.
CDC - Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
  • Coordinates and assists with multistate foodborne disease investigations.
  • Compiles and analyzes foodborne disease data.
  • Makes recommendations to prevent foodborne disease based on data analysis.

Nebraska Department of Agriculture

  • Maintains an inventory and develops a work plan for food establishments establishing inspection frequency and criteria for re-inspections.
  • Conducts inspections and licensing of all food establishments.
  • Conducts inspections of temporary food establishments.
  • Conducts appropriate follow-up of complaints against food establishments.
  • Assures food safety after disasters and other significant events.
  • Performs enforcement activities.
  • Collects food samples.
  • Conducts food safety training for industry and the public.
State Food Laboratory
  • Conducts analysis of food samples during foodborne illness outbreaks and Manufactured Food Program sampling.
  • Provides technical assistance regarding food sampling.
Department of Health and Human Services - Epidemiology
  • Coordinates foodborne disease investigations.
  • Compiles and analyzes foodborne disease data.
Milk and Dairy Program
  • Conducts inspections and licenses: Grade A and manufacturing grade dairy farms, milk plants, haulers, samplers, milk tankers and distributors.

Douglas, Lancaster, Hall Counties and Nebraska DHHS

  • Conducts inspections of food establishments.
  • Conducts inspections of temporary food establishments.
  • Conducts appropriate follow-up of complaints against food establishments.
  • Assures food safety after disasters and other significant events.
  • Performs enforcement activities.
  • Conducts food safety training for industry and the public.


Food Program Standards

The Nebraska Department of Agriculture Food Safety and Consumer Protection is enrolled in both the national retail and manufactured food program standards. The intent of the standards is to increase consistency, efficiency, and effectiveness of regulatory programs throughout the United States.

The retail food regulatory program standards cover the following areas:

  1. Regulations
  2. Trained Staff
  3. Risk Based Inspection Program
  4. Uniform Inspections
  5. Foodborne Illness and Food Defense
  6. Enforcement
  7. Outreach
  8. Program Support
  9. Program Assessment

The manufactured food regulatory program standards cover similar areas, including:

  1. Regulations
  2. Trained Staff
  3. Risk Based Inspection Program
  4. Uniform Inspections
  5. Foodborne Illness and Food Defense
  6. Enforcement
  7. Outreach
  8. Program Support
  9. Program Assessment
  10. Laboratory Services