Food Code Changes

Iowa Department of Inspections and Appeals

Summary of Major Changes

Iowa Food Code

Effective 1/1/14


Priority, Priority Foundation, and Core items*:

  • Priority item:  includes items with a quantifiable measure to show control of hazards such as cooking, reheating, cooling, handwashing.
  • Priority foundation item: includes an item that requires the purposeful incorporation of specific actions, equipment or procedures by industry management to attain control of risk factors that contribute to foodborne illness or injury such as personnel training, infrastructure or necessary equipment, HACCP plans, documentation or record keeping, and labeling.
  • Core itemincludes an item that usually relates to general sanitation, operational controls, sanitation standard operating procedures (SSOPs), facilities or structures, equipment design, or general maintenance.

*The terms “Critical” and “Non Critical” are no longer in use.

Cut leafy greens:  means fresh leafy greens whose leaves have been cut, shredded, sliced, chopped, or torn. The term "leafy greens" includes iceberg lettuce, romaine lettuce, leaf lettuce, butter lettuce, baby leaf lettuce (i.e., immature lettuce or leafy greens), escarole, endive, spring mix, spinach, cabbage, kale, arugula and chard. The term "leafy greens" does not include herbs such as cilantro or parsley.

Injected: Amended definition to remove the public health statement and process where no liquid is introduced.

Mechanically Tenderized:

(1) "Mechanically tenderized" means manipulating meat with deep penetration by processes which may be referred to as "blade tenderizing," "jaccarding," "pinning," "needling," or using blades, pins, needles or any mechanical device.

(2) "Mechanically tenderized" does not include processes by which solutions are injected into meat.

Non-Continuous Cooking:

(1) "Non-continuous cooking" means the cooking of food in a food establishment using a process in which the initial heating of the food is intentionally halted so that it may be cooled and held for complete cooking at a later time prior to sale or service.

(2) "Non-continuous cooking" does not include cooking procedures that only involve temporarily interrupting or slowing an otherwise continuous cooking process.

Potentially Hazardous Food (Time/Temperature Control for Safety Food):  subparagraph (2)(a) by adding, "cut leafy greens"

Chapter 2

Key Word(s)

Code with Wording

Certified Food Protection Manager

Added new 2-102.12, Certified Food Protection Manager

This requires that at least one food establishment employee with management and supervisory responsibility be a Certified Food Protection Manager (CFPM).

This will be verified at the time of inspection. Does not require the CFPM to be on the premises during all hours of operation.

CFPM Compliance Timeframe

New establishments (license approved after Jan 1, 2014)

  • 6 months from license approval

Existing establishments

  • Without a risk factor or public health intervention violation have until January 1, 2018
  • With a risk factor or public health intervention violation before July 1 2017, the establishment has 6 months from the date of the violation to comply
  • If the CFPM is no longer employed, the establishment has 6 months to replace the CFPM

Temporary, Farmers Market and Food Establishments that sell only prepackaged foods are exempt from this requirement

Duties of the Person in Charge

  • 2-103.11(F) Requiring employees to verify foods delivered during non -operating hours are received from approved sources and properly stored
  • 2-103.11 (M) Added "food allergy awareness" as a part of the food safety training of employees by the Person in Charge
  • 2-103.11(N) Revised to require all facilities to have an employee reporting agreement which requires employees to report information about their health and activities as they relate to diseases transmissible through food.  The agreement must be in a verifiable form. 
  • 2-103.11(O) Added to specify that the development and implementation of all required procedures is to be among the expected duties of the person in charge of a food establishment

Responding to Contamination Events

Added new Part 2-5, Responding to Contamination Events and new Subpart, 2-501, Procedures for Responding, and new 2-501.11 Clean-up of Vomiting and Diarrheal Events:

  • Procedures shall address specific actions employees must take to minimize the spread of contamination and the exposure to employees, consumers, food and surfaces.

Chapter 3

Key Word(s)

Code with Wording

Bare Hand Contact – Ready-to-Eat (RTE) Foods

3-301.11(D) Handling RTE Foods:  No bare hand contact does not apply to RTE Foods that are added to foods that contain raw animal foods that are to be fully cooked or other foods that will be heated to 145°F.  RTE Foods which contain ingredients that were touched with bare hands but do not contain a raw animal food must be heated to at least 145°F.

Non-Intact Meat Storage

Storage Frozen Commercially Packaged Ready-to-Eat Foods


  • Allows for the storage of non-intact meats above whole muscle meats if they are packaged. 
  • Allows for the storage of frozen commercially packaged raw and frozen packaged RTE foods without separation

Fruit and Vegetable Washing Chemicals

3-302.15:  Addresses the use of devices that generate fruit and vegetable washing chemicals to be used in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions (most commonly ozone)

Mechanically Tenderized Meats

3-401.11(A)(2):  Added "mechanically tenderized" meats to the list of foods that shall be cooked to heat all parts of the food to 155°F for 15 seconds

Parasite Destruction

3-402.11(B):  Added new subparagraph (4) to exempt fish eggs that have been removed from the skein and rinsed from freezing for parasite destruction

Children’s Menu Items

3-401.11(D):  Amended to add new subparagraph (D)(2) to not allow the sale of undercooked, comminuted meat from a children's menu

Non-continuous Cooking Processes

3-401.14:  Requires written procedures for using a non-continuous cooking processProcedures must be approved by the regulatory authority.

Date Marking

3-501.17:  Clarified: “the day of preparation shall be counted as day 1”

Reduced Oxygen Packaging (ROP) Without a Variance, Criteria

3-502.12:  The ROP section has several clarifications that have been added.

Iowa amended this section to incorporate the 2013 FDA Model Food Code language.

This language exempts foods that are packaged using ROP if held 48 hours or less and both time and date are marked on the package from the need for a HACCP plan. 

Chapter 4

Key Word(s)

Code with Wording

Chemical Dispensers

4-501.114 (F):  Added to define requirements for devices that generate chemical sanitizers on site.

Sanitizer Use

4-501.114:  Gives a chlorine concentration range instead of minimum concentration

Changed iodine minimum temperature requirement from 75 to 68 degrees

Language throughout 4-501.114 has been changed to harmonize with EPA terminology. "manufacturer's label" to "EPA-registered label use instructions"

Preset Tableware

4-904.13:  Clarifies that preset tableware that is exposed and not removed when the consumer is seated must be washed, rinsed and sanitized.

Post-sanitizing Rinses

4-904.14:  Added a new section to only allow the application of a post-sanitizing rinse in a commercial warewashing machine and the circumstances under which it may be allowed.

Chapter 5 – no changes

Chapter 6

Key Word(s)

Code with Wording

Air Hand Drying

6-301.12:  Added new ¶ (D) to allow the use of a high velocity air-knife of non-heated, pressurized air for hand drying

Pest Free Establishments

6-501.111:  Clarify that establishments are expected to be free of pests

Chapter 7

Key Word(s)

Code with Wording

Chemical Sanitizing

7-204.11: Added language to include “chemical sanitizing solutions generated on site” must meet federal laws for safety  

Use of Ozone

7-204.12:  Added language that allows the use of ozone as a microbial agent on fruits and vegetables must meet federal laws for safety

Chapter 8

Key Word(s)

Code with Wording

Violation of Priority Item or Priority Foundation Item


  • Revised the paragraph to maintain consistency with the three tier risk designation ranking system and allow, with Regulatory Authority agreement,
    • up to 72 hours to correct violations of a Priority Item or;
    • up to 10 days to correct violations of a Priority Foundation Item or HACCP Plan deviations.
    • Core items are 90 days unless otherwise approved by the regulatory authority

2009/2013 Food Code information can be downloaded at:

Questions regarding the changes should be directed to:

Linn County Public Health

501 13th St NW, Cedar Rapids, IA, 52405



                                                                                                                        Updated:  January  10, 2014

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