California Retail Food Code (Cal Code)

On May 15, 2006, the Governor signed into law SB 144 which enacted the California Retail Food Code (Cal Code). This new law which took effect July 1, 2007 and completely replaced previous retail food regulation, represents the culmination of an extraordinary collaborative effort of the California Retail Food Safety Coalition (CRFSC) - a broad-based coalition of federal, state and local regulators and the retail food industry.

This comprehensive law is modeled on the federal Food Code and will accomplish a number of important public health objectives, including:

  • Promotion of uniformity and consistency in retail food safety enforcement;
  • Affording greater protection of highly susceptible populations, including children at school and community and elderly care facility clients;
  • Ensuring that food safety regulation is based on best available science; and
  • Facilitating understanding and compliance of laws through consolidation of statutory provisions.