Dairy & Foods
Food establishments, including private homes, that manufacture, process, pack or hold food for sale are subject to the Virginia Food Laws and related regulations. It is unlawful to operate a food business until it has been inspected. (Note these exceptions from inspection.)
Enforcement of these requirements includes regular periodic inspections of food establishments, including private homes. VDACS’ Food Safety Specialists, also known as inspectors, ensure that any food or beverage manufactured, produced, processed, packed, exposed, offered, possessed or held for sale is safe for human consumption, and in compliance with the Virginia Food Laws and related regulations. Inspectors look for evidence of unsanitary conditions, mislabeling and the mishandling of food products that can lead to unsafe foods. Manufacturers are subject to unannounced inspections and sampling, as well as an annual fee. See these frequently asked questions.
Catering is not permitted from a home-based kitchen. If you are interested in starting a catering company, please contact the Virginia Department of Health. Products containing meat are regulated by the Office of Meat and Poultry Services.
Click here to submit a complaint concerning foodborne illness, or conditions at a food manufacturer or retail store.
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