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Louisiana Department of Health & Hospitals | Kathy Kliebert, Secretary

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Food Regulatory Topics in Food and Drug Unit

 


Food Manufacturing
General information about wholesale food manufacturing and links to some related guidance documents can be found here. If you are starting a new food-manufacturing business, this should be one of your first stops.
Acidified and Low-Acid Canned Foods Processing
Many foods are classified under special federal regulations designed to combat potentially-deadly outbreaks of botulism, a kind of intoxication (poisoning) that can occur when foods are not properly "canned" (sealed in an airtight container for long-term storage). The kinds of foods covered under these regulations typically include items such as canned fruits and vegetables, pickled eggs, and canned meats and seafood products. Several exemptions to these regulations exist for items like soft drinks, fermented foods, and tomato-based products with a finished pH < 4.7. If you think your product(s) may fall under these regulations, visit this page to find out more about how to determine how to classify your products.
Bottled Water
Louisiana and several other states have specific regulations designed to address potential food-safety concerns with bottled-water products. Bottled water includes drinking water, purified water, mineral water, sterile water, some kinds of carbonated water, artesian water, and spring water. It does not include soda water, tonic water, sparkling water, or seltzer water. Bottled water made or sold in Louisiana is required to be tested according to a specific schedule for a variety of potential biological, chemical, and radiological contaminants and must be from an approved ground- or surface water source.
Ice-Vending Units and Ice-Manufacturing Plants
Most people don't think of ice and water as food products and assume that, in this country, at least they are automatically safe. However, outbreaks of E. coli and norovirus (Norwalk-like virus) in 1987 and 1999 were attributed to contaminated ice. Thus it is important to ensure that Louisiana's ice is clean and free of pathogens. Presently, the department regulates ice-manufacturing plants and ice-vending units under the same set of administrative rules. More information on these requirements can be found at the above link.
Water-Vending Units and Water Stores
Water-vending units are a common sight at many larger grocery stores and provide the consumer with filtered and/or dinsinfected product water derived from public water supplies. Water stores are retail facilities that are generally found in areas like rural northern Louisiana where many residents obtain their potable water from private water sources and sell water at water stations along with well supplies, water softeners and similar equipment. Both of these kinds of entities are regulated under the department's water-vending regulations. See the link for more information.
Food Processing Plans and Recall Plans
Recent changes to regulations require that any wholesale food manufacturer create and maintain both a food-processing plan and a food recall plan. Food processing plans contain many elements of HACCP plans (and indeed, if a firm has a HACCP program, a separate food processing plan is not required) but are designed to document that a firm has a written document of its processes and has considered and addressed potential hazards. A recall plan is necessary in the event that an adverse event (undercooked product resulting in illness, samples reveal pathogens, undeclared major food allergens are present) makes it necessary to remove one or more lots of a firm's product(s) from the marketplace. Details and guidelines for plans can be found at the above link.
Food Storage and Distribution
Food storage warehouses in Louisiana come in a variety of sizes, ranging from large-scale distribution facilities that may comprise several buildings at a dock on the Mississippi to mini-storage units that may hold vending-machine snacks or coffee products. The department regulates these facilities to ensure that food distributed to retail stores for consumer use is being held and maintained in a sanitary condition. If you are redistributing products or your business will involve having a copacker produde an item on your behalf. you will probably need to have a warehouse permit with our office and should click the link above to get additional information.
Pet Foods and Animal Feeds
DHH does not have regulatory oversight over the production of pet food or large animal feed products. At the state level, LDAF's Agricultural Chemistry office regulates these items, while at the federal level, USDA and FDA regulate feeds and pet food products, respectively.