Office of Program Policy Analysis and Government Accountability
Office of Program Policy Analysis and Government Accountability

Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services

Food Safety

What is the purpose of the division?

The Division of Food Safety is directly responsible for assuring the public of a safe, wholesome and properly represented food supply. This is accomplished through the permitting and inspection of food establishments; inspection and evaluation of food products; and the performance of specialized laboratory testing on a variety of food products sold and/or produced in Florida. The division monitors food from manufacturing and distribution to retail. The division also administers and enforces the food and poultry and egg laws, supports the enforcement of other food safety laws, and investigates consumer complaints related to food.

What types of services does the division provide?

  • Inspections. The division conducts inspections of various food and dairy establishments to minimize the risk of foodborne illness in food and dairy products processed, produced, stored, distributed and sold in both retail and wholesale food businesses throughout Florida.
  • Laboratory Services. The division houses biological and chemical testing laboratories to help ensure Florida consumers have the safest possible food products available. The chemical laboratories test for a variety of chemical containments, such as heavy metals and pesticides in food products. The biological laboratories test for a variety of biological pathogens and harmful organisms in both food and dairy products, in addition to analyzing samples collected from environments where food and dairy products are processed and handled.
  • Food Emergency Response. The division also plays a role in the state's emergency response network. Specifically, the division has dedicated staff connected to the State Emergency Response Team through Emergency Response Function (ESF)-17.

Whare are some examples of the division's workload and what is known about compliance rates for regulated entities?

In Fiscal Year 2019-20, the division conducted 25,658 retail food establishment inspections, 4,016 manufactured food establishment inspections, 8,076 biological and 6,830 chemical laboratory tests on food samples, and performed grade evaluations on 104,146 tons of poultry and eggs. During the year, 96% of food establishments met inspection requirements. Additionally, 94% of dairy establishments were deemed in compliance.

How are these activities funded?

Fiscal Year: 2021-22
Fund Dollars Positions


Cottage Food Operations. The 2021 Legislature enacted Chapter 2021-211, Laws of Florida, Cottage Food Operations. The Act, which may be cited as the “Home Sweet Home Act,” revises the definition of "cottage food operation"; increases the annual gross sales limitation from $50,000 to $250,000 for exempting cottage food operations from certain food and building permitting requirements; authorizes the sale, offer for sale, and delivery of cottage food products by mail; preempts the regulation of cottage food operations to the state; prohibits local governments from prohibiting cottage food operations or regulating cottage food products by cottage food operations; and requires cottage food operations to comply with certain conditions for the operation of home-based businesses.   

Where can I find related OPPAGA reports?

A complete list of related OPPAGA reports is available on our website.

Where can I get more information?

What are the applicable statutes?

Title XXXV and Chs500, 501, 502, 531, 583, 586, and 597, Florida Statutes.

Whom do I contact for help?

Division of Food Safety, Director Dr. Matthew Curran, 850-245-5520