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NC State Extension

Regulatory Contacts for North Carolina

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Are you developing a new food product? Starting a farm or adding value-added processing to your farming operation? Maybe you’re hoping to open a restaurant or take a food truck on the road? Are you experiencing a recall event? We’ve compiled a multitude of North Carolina resources that can help you get started.

Reach out to these Offices with specific questions about your operation & plans!

North Carolina Department of Agriculture & Consumer Services (NCDA&CS)

NCDA logo

Produce Safety Program

  • This Program provides support to North Carolina fresh produce farmers through education and outreach to build knowledge of the Produce Safety Rule (PSR) and assist in developing programs responsive to the PSR. They are also here to provide assistance and technical support to the farming community. In addition to providing education and outreach, the Produce Safety Program is also tasked with conducting produce safety inspections to determine compliance with the Produce Safety Rule.
  • Contact: (984)236-4820

  • Website: NCAGR: Food and Drug Protection Division

Food Program

  • This Team oversees a large variety of food manufacturing operations in North Carolina including, but not limited to: home processors, bakeries, acid and acidified foods, packaged foods (not containing meat or poultry ingredients), frozen desserts and novelty ice cream, cheese production, shelled eggs, and specialty game items such as rabbit,
    • Learn more about this Team from our Connections Webinar series
  • Contact: (984)236-4820

  • Website

  • Starting your Food Processing Operation

Home Processing

  • If you are interested in producing and selling food products for human consumption from your home, you will need to first have your home kitchen inspected before doing so. This includes anyone selling to retail stores, restaurants, or directly to consumers. This also includes anyone opening and repackaging food products or ingredients purchased from other locations.
  • Contact: (984)236-4820

  • Website: Food Home Processing

Food Recalls

  • Many recalls are either initiated, conducted or checked by the Food Program at NCDA&CS. Food producers recall their products from the marketplace when the products are mislabeled or when the food may present a health hazard to consumers because the food is contaminated or has caused a foodborne illness outbreak.
  • Learn more about Food Recalls from NC State Extension.
  • Contact: (984)236-4820

  • Website: Food Recalls

Grade A Dairy

  • This Program helps to ensure the citizens of North Carolina that dairy products are produced, transported, and sold under clean and sanitary conditions. The laws allow for the setting of standards and purity for products and for licenses, fees, and examinations where appropriate.
  • Contact: (984)236-4820

  • Website: Grade A Dairy Program

Fish Markets

  • Individuals considering selling seafood directly from a boat, a roadside stand/market, or other alternative market, will need to follow regulations and guidelines and obtain specific licenses, registrations, permits, and certificates from several state and local agencies in addition to the licenses and permits required to fish commercially.
  • Contact: (984)236-4820

  • North Carolina Seafood Permits Guidance

Meat & Poultry Inspection Division

  • Companies that slaughter animals and/or wholesale meat and poultry products are required to be inspected by either the NCDA Meat and Poultry Inspection Division or the USDA Food Safety Inspection Service.

  • We only inspect on-site retail sales of meats when establishments under our inspection also operate a retail meat counter at the same location. State and federal regulations require any individual or firm who processes canned meat products for retail or wholesale sale to be under inspection by the US or NC Department of Agriculture.

  • Contact: (919)707-3180

  • Website: Meat and Poultry Inspection Division

  • Learn more about this Team from our Connections Webinar series

Weights & Measures

  • Are you selling produce or product by weight? North Carolina requires you to have your scales calibrated and certified annually.
  • Contact: (984)236-4750

  • Website: Standards, Weights and Measure Division

Pet Food & Treats

  • The North Carolina Commercial Feed Program regulates the manufacture and distribution of commercial feed within the state.
  • This Program provides annual registration of commercial feed and pet food that is distributed in the state. The annual registration fee is $5.00 for packages of over 5 pounds net weight, $40.00 for packages of only 5 pounds or less and $12.00 for canned (in cans or hermetically sealed containers)pet food. A state-wide inspection service is maintained for checking feed labeling for compliance with the current Good Manufacturing Practice Regulations and for collecting official samples for analysis.
  • Contact: (984)236-4820

  • Website: Feed Program

North Carolina Department of Health & Human Servicesnc dhhs logo

Food Protection and Facilities Branch

  • The Food Protection Program protects public health through development of standards, review of plans and monitoring of enforcement activities for food handling establishments and lodging establishments. Standards enforced through county health departments include rules governing restaurants, food stands, mobile food units, meat markets, hotels, bed and breakfasts, and summer camps.
  • The mission of the Food Protection Program is to reduce the risk of food-borne illness and other communicable diseases by ensuring reasonable protection by providing progressive leadership, resources, and education for the promotion of public health, safety and confidence for the people.
  • Contact the Raleigh Main Office: (919) 707-5854

  • County Health Numbers – Listing for all 100 NC County Health Departments 

  • Website: Food Protection and Facilities

  • Learn more about this Team from our Connections Webinar series

N.C. Department of Environmental Qualitync marine fisheries logo

Marine Fisheries

Shellfish Sanitation

  • The Shellfish Sanitation section is responsible for classifying coastal waters as to their suitability for shellfish harvesting, certification of shellfish and crustacea processing plants
  • Contact: (919) 707-5854

  • Website: Shellfish Sanitation

Federal Regulatory Authorities

Food and Drug Administration

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FDA Food Facility Registration

    • To implement specific provisions of the Bioterrorism Act, the FDA established regulations requiring that food facilities register with the agency.
    • Learn more about Food Facility Registration from NC State Extension.


    • The FDA assists North Carolina regulatory agencies during major recall events and when recalls extend to interstate commerce (product sold outside of NC). The FDA’s Recall sites will provide information regarding the measures FDA takes when a food product is mislabeled, presents a health risk because of contamination, or has caused an outbreak of illness. This section also provides information regarding the safe storage, use, and disposal of food during public health emergencies.
    • FDA Recall Coordinators’ Contact: (404) 253-1224 Fax: (404) 253-1201

United States Department of Agriculture

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  • Thousands of FSIS inspectors across the U.S. conduct daily inspection activities, verifying domestic industry compliance with applicable food safety regulatory requirements. FSIS’ food safety mission extends to ensuring the safety and integrity of FSIS-regulated products exported to more than 140 countries, as well as imported food products.
  • Food Safety Inspection Service Guidelines are available to help understand USDA and its Inspection Division’s regulations and requirements in layman’s term.

NIFA logo

“This work was supported by the intramural research program of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, National Institute of Food and Agriculture, Food Safety Outreach Program 1030908. The findings and conclusions in this preliminary publication have not been formally disseminated by the US Department of Agriculture and should not be construed to represent any agency determination or policy.”