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Food Safety for Businesses

The City of Milwaukee adopted a new version of the Wisconsin Food Code effective September 1, 2013. The Wisconsin Food Code is based on the FDA Model Food Code,  and the current Wisconsin Code is based on the 2009 FDA Model Food Code. The FDA Model Food Code contains helpful Annexes that are not in the Wisconsin Food Code such as "Public Health Reasons". The FDA also has the 2009 Model Food Code in Spanish.

Important Links:

State Codes and Local Ordinances:


Food Safety Videos

These videos were produced by another state and used with permission. Please note the following requirements in the Wisconsin Food Code that differ from the information in the videos:

  • Fish, pork and ham are to be cooked to 145°F for 15 seconds.

  • The minimum food hot holding temperature and top level of the danger zone is 135°F.

  • Bare hand contact with ready to eat foods is prohibited.



Food Safety Signs (In English and Spanish):

Fact Sheets:

Food Code Fact Sheets (click here)

Created by the Wisconsin Divisions of Public Health and Food Safety to assist with training about principles of the food code. Many of these fact sheets are available in other languages: Albanian, Arabic, Chinese, Hmong, Korean, Lao, Russian, Serbian, Spanish, and Vietnamese.

Newsletter Archives- "Food for Thought: An Update for Food Operators"

 July 2010   |   July 2008   |   June 2007


FDA Oral Culture Learner Project - Educational Materials for Food Employee (click here)

The goal of this project is to provide materials and methods that are effective in helping food employees understand the reasons why following proper food safety practices is important to prevent illnesses, deaths, and loss of income and reputation resulting from food-related outbreaks. The materials have been designed for oral culture learners, which research has shown most food employees to be.

The materials (posters and storyboards) dealing with employee health, no bare hand contact with ready-to-eat food, and hand-washing will soon be available in seven different languages, including Hindi, Korean, Russian, Simplified Chinese, Traditional Chinese and Spanish. These materials are not copyrighted; therefore, you may post these materials on your website and distribute them freely. We kindly ask, however, that you credit FDA when using or posting the materials. 



The food industry requires floor and wall finishes of the highest standards to comply with industry guidelines for good hygiene practice.

Commercial Kitchen Flooring

 a flooring solution essential to meet Health and Safety regulations. The properties applied create a heavy duty flooring to withstand heavy machinery and significantly reduce the risk of thermal shock damage to the floor during the cooking process. That facilitates the cleaning process, removing the threat of bacteria growth and microbes in hard-to-clean joints, essential to maintain high Health and Safety requirements.


Equipment that complies with the design and construction standards of the National Sanitation Foundation (NSF) is acceptable. The NSF manual on Sanitation Aspects of Installation of Food Service Equipment is an excellent reference.


A Type I Kitchen Exhaust Hood and related duct system shall be installed where cooking appliances produce grease and/or smoke laden vapors. A Type I Kitchen Exhaust Hood and related duct system shall be installed over medium-duty, heavyduty and extra-heavy-duty cooking appliances as defined below. Without prior written approval, a Type I Kitchen Exhaust Hood and related duct system shall also be installed over light-duty cooking appliances. A Type II Kitchen Exhaust Hood and related duct system may be installed over light-duty cooking appliances that produce insignificant quantities of grease and/or smoke laden vapors. Prior written approval from the Building Official is required to determine if a Type II Kitchen Exhaust Hood and related duct system may be installed over light-duty cooking appliances.

A Type II Kitchen Exhaust Hood and related duct system shall be installed above dishwashers and light-duty cooking appliances that produce only heat or moisture or only by products of combustion.


Light Duty Cooking Appliance
Light-duty cooking appliances include gas
and electric ovens (including standard, bake, roasting, revolving, retherm convection,
combination convection/steamer, countertop conveyorized steam-jacketed kettles,
electric and gas pasta cookers, electric and gas compartment steamers (both pressure
and atmospheric) and electric and gas cheesemelters.


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Consumer Environmental Health Information and Licensing

Bed and Breakfast Establishments

Permit requirements for bed and breakfast establishments.

Closing-out Sales

Ordinance information for closing-out / going-out-of-business sales.

Convenience Store Security

Requirements of the City of Milwaukee's Convenience Store Security Ordinance.

Farmers' Markets Food Licensing & Sanitation

Information on the sale of food and licensing for farmers' market vendors.

Food Safety for Individuals

Information for individuals and businesses on how to safely handle and cook food.

Mobile Food Establishments

Sanitation and licensing requirements for mobile food vendors (food carts/ trucks).

Opening a Food Business

Links to resources needed to open a food business in Milwaukee.

Tattoos & Body Piercing

Licensing information for tattoo parlors and piercing shops along with health information for those who are considering or who have just recently gotten tattoos/piercings.

Temporary Event Food Licensing & Sanitation

Sanitation and licensing requirements for temporary food vendors at events in Milwaukee.

Weights and Measures Licensing

Obtain a license for your weighing or measuring device operating in the city of Milwaukee.