Food Protection and Inspection
The primary purpose of the food program is to protect the public from food-borne illnesses and assure that food provided for human consumption is wholesome, properly labeled, advertised and produced under conditions which are safe and sanitary. In order to accomplish this purpose the program is divided into three elements.
Retail and Consumer Protection
This portion of the program deals with routine inspections, food-borne illness investigations, and complaint investigations for any facility that provides food to the public. These facilities include restaurants, school cafeterias, grocery stores, mini-marts, lunch trucks, and special events. A copy of the California Retail Food Code (CalCode), the State law that regulates food facilities, and amendments, are available for viewing at the links below. CalCode, effective July 1, 2007, completely replaced the California Uniform Retail Food Facilities Law (CURFFL). CalCode has been modeled after the Federal Food Code, which provides the best available science for achieving the overall goal of preventing food-borne illness.
- Food Inspection & Enforcement Policy (Point System)
- California Retail Food Code (Cal Code) Effective January 1, 2020
- Menu Labeling Requirements
- NEW - Single-Use Plastic Straws FAQs
- NEW - Children’s Meals Including Beverages FAQs
- NEW - Limited Service Charitable Feeding Operations (LSCFO)
- NEW - Microenterprise Home Kitchen Operation (MEHKO)
- NEW - Catering Operations & Host Facilities
- FDA Order Pertaining to Partially Hydrogenated Oils (PHOs) Effective June 18, 2018
- Cottage Food Operation Forms and Information
- Required Forms: Cottage Food Operation Application and Self-Certification Checklist
- California Homemade Food Act FAQs (AB 1616), Acta de Comida Casera de California (AB 1616)
- Cottage Food Law AB 1616
- California Department of Public Health (CDPH) Information / Approved Food List
- NEW - Food Allergy Information
- NEW - Community Food Production FAQs (AB 1990)
- NEW - Food Donation Information
Sherman Food, Drug and Cosmetic Law
This law assures that any food is properly labeled and not presented in a misleading way.
Food Facility Plan Check and Construction
Anyone who wishes to build or renovate a restaurant or market must submit plans so that an investigation can be done to assure that the facility will be constructed to the minimum standards of the California Health and Safety Code. Plan check fees must be submitted with a completed Application for Retail Food Facility Plan Review.
View the Retail Food Facility Plan Review page and to view and download the related forms and documents
Merced County Food Inspections
- Community Events With Food Available: Guidelines and Applications
- Please view the Food Committee documents of the California Conference of Directors of Environmental Health
If you have any questions or comments, please contact us at (209) 381-1100 or via email.