Authority to Inspect

The Food and Dairy/Consumer & Industry Division of the Tennessee Department of Agriculture is the Commissioner of Agriculture's duly authorized agent responsible for the inspection of foods, drugs, devices and cosmetics which are manufactured, processed, packed, or held for introduction into commerce in the State of Tennessee.

In 2013, the Tennessee General Assembly passed the Tennessee Retail Food Safety Act, the first significant change in how the state regulates and inspects retail food establishments (grocery stores and restaurants) in nearly 30 years. The Act, commonly known as the Food Code, goes into effect July 1, 2015. The Food Code is a model law published by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration that provides a consistent, scientifically sound, technical and legal basis for retail and food service establishment regulation by federal, state and local governments. It is based on a system of safeguards emphasizing prevention. We believe that food safety is a shared responsibility between industry and government.