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Food Safety for Businesses

Businesses in The City of Milwaukee are inspected by the Consumer Environmental Health Department. The Inspectors follow the WI Food Code and inspect for violations and unsafe practices. 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.

In the United States, different dating systems are used on products.  Some are “expiration dates.”  Others are “best if used by” dates.  Still others are “sell by dates.”  Regardless of the dating format, no product suddenly becomes “unsafe” on the date printed on the product.  Product dating is used to ensure that product is rotated properly during distribution and to ensure that the consumer has a positive eating experience. The dates are designed to ensure that products are high quality for the consumer and have little, if anything, to do with food safety though they are often thought of in this manner. For more information on product dates click on the Food product dating link under Important Links below.

Important Links:

State Codes and Local Ordinances:

 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.



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.

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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/health/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.