Legal Aspects of Public Health Food Safety

Legal & Ethical
Online Course
1 hour
University of Washington
Northwest PERLC

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Food safety is a unique and critical role filled by public health agencies. In the event of a foodborne illness outbreak investigation, you may wonder what personal information is protected by privacy laws and what may be shared. You may also wonder about the source and scope of your public health authority to keep the public safe from foodborne illnesses. This 1-hour course is an introduction to legal issues that arise in public health food safety, from surveillance and outbreak investigation through restaurant inspections and detention of food. The content for the course was developed in partnership with the Network for Public Health Law, whose Eastern Region Office contributed invaluable practical experience and knowledge.

Learning Objectives: 
  • Identify federal privacy requirements related to food safety surveillance and foodborne illness outbreak response
  • Describe the source and scope of state and local authority related to food safety
  • Explain the administrative process for developing food safety regulations
  • Identify the food safety control measures available to state and local authorities
  • List common legal issues encountered during the enforcement of state and local food safety provisions