Agriculture_Markets
Andrew M. Cuomo, Governor | Richard A. Ball, Commissioner
 
  
 Division of Food Safety & Inspection
Stephen Stich, Director, (518) 457-4492

Overview | Licenses & Regulations | Training | Consumer Information
Food Safety Alerts/Recalls | Consumer Complaint Form

Overview

The Division of Food Safety and Inspection housed within New York State’s Department of Agriculture and Markets provides a vital service that is critical to maintaining the safety of the food supply in New York State from the producer to the consumer.

The Food Safety and Inspection Division is the Department’s largest division. The Division currently issues licenses to a variety of food-based businesses or establishments in New York State.  The type of licenses issued are dependent on the food processing done at the establishment. Licenses can range from complex operations associated with the manufacturing, processing, handling, rendering and/or packaging of various types of food, to the storing or sale of closed/sealed foods and beverages.

Once a business is licensed, it can expect the Division to help ensure its proper operations through a variety of activities, including but not limited to: unannounced sanitary inspections, sampling of food products for analysis by the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets Food Laboratory, investigation of consumer complaints or food borne illnesses, seizure of food products and verification of product labeling.

Although a large majority of our food safety program rests solely on establishment inspections; the Department also has a state-of-the-art Food Laboratory that processes and analyzes over 40,00 samples annually. The sampling program within the Food Safety Inspection Division is the food surveillance program, which involves the routine collection of food samples from licensed establishments. Once collected, the inspector sends the samples to the Department’s Food Laboratory to be tested for a variety of biological and chemical contaminates. This rigorous surveillance program has led to the discovery of many undeclared ingredients (adulterated food) and live pathogens resulting in the seizure of such food products and/or initiation of our recall/food safety alert processes.  This work done by the Department has led to several Class 1 recalls and seizure of several tons of contaminated products.

The Department works and collaborates with other State Departments, the USDA, the FDA and a variety of food alliance groups on new and innovative approaches of ensuring food safety. See Table 2 for changes in food safety requirements that have led to an increase of 18.5% in food safety compliance.

Table 2
Summary of Compliance with New York State Food Safety Regulations 2001-2015



18.5% Increase in Compliance 2001-2011
Compliance Rate % = number of passing inspections ÷ number of total inspections

The enforcement of New York State Agriculture and Markets Laws and Regulations provides a vital service that is critical in maintaining the safety of the food supply from producer to the retailer. The Division of Food Safety and Inspection is the Department’s largest Division, with a staff of approximately 200 full-time employees including about 115 food inspectors. The Division has jurisdiction over approximately 28,000 food handling establishments and conducts a variety of activities including:

NYS Food Safety Rules and Regulations

Farm Products Information