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Food and Food Handling Code

Learn more about the local code and regulations governing food safety in the City of Alexandria. Find Health Department resources and job aids summarizing the food code, including a brief summary of unique regulations to the City.

Food Safety Program

Visit for more about Health Department's Food Safety Program. 

About the Food Code

The City of Alexandria's Food and Food Handling Code can be found in Title 11, Chapter 2 of The Code of the City of Alexandria, Virginia, 1981 at the City Council's webpage:  City Charter and Code

In general, Chapter 2 adopts the most current U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Model Food Code with a few deviations, and it establishes several regulations specific to the City of Alexandria.  These specific regulations include additional requirements for mobile food vendors (MFV), other food establishments that serve potentially hazardous food (PHF), food manager requirements, and procedures to obtain a permit or variance, hearings, closures, plan reviews, etc.

The Environmental Health Division (EH) enforces the Food and Food Handling Code.

FDA Model Code

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) publishes the Food Code, a model that assists food control jurisdictions by providing them with a scientifically sound, technical and legal basis for regulating the retail and food service segment of the industry (restaurants, grocery stores and institutions such as nursing homes). Local, state, tribal and federal regulators use the FDA Food Code as a model to develop or update their own food safety rules and to be consistent with a national food regulatory policy.

To view the FDA model food code, visit:

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