Last updated on April 14th, 2022 at 03:09 pm

NYC Department of Health Adulterated Foods Guidance

The NYC Department of Health has come out with “Adulterated Food Guidance” for food service operators wanting to serve foods and/or drinks infused with CBD, Kava, and other added ingredients.

What is adulteration?

Adulteration is the act of making something impure by adding an ingredient or substance to it that alters its original form.

What is adulterated Food?

A food adulterant is a substance that impairs the safety of the food it is added to. Adulteration is a legal term meaning that a food product fails to meet legal standards because a food adulterant has been added.

What is a food adulterant according to the NYC Department of Health?

The Department of Health defines adulterants as additives, colorants and other substances that are not approved to be added to food by the NYS Department of Health, NYS Department of Agriculture, U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) or U.S. Department of Agriculture.

What types of substances are considered adulterants?

Many substances should not be added to food because they are considered adulterants, new Guidance from the NYC Department of Health provides some examples:

  • Activated Charcoal – can only be used as a filtration aid.
  • Cannabis that contains more than 0.3% THC
  • Dietary supplements for humans or animals
  • Kava kava
  • Kratom
  • Dry Ice and Liquid Nitrogen:
    • Solid dry ice cannot be served.
    • Liquid nitrogen must be evaporated or drained from food before being served
    • Dry ice or liquid nitrogen that produces fog or smoke while food is being served or eaten cannot be added to food before service.
  • Cannabidiol (CBD) – Food service establishments cannot produce, sell, or offer foods that contain CBD unless they have a specific license from NYS. For more information, including how to get the license, follow this link

*** For FDA’s complete list of substances that can be added to food follow this link.

Are Health Department Inspectors checking for adulterants during an inspection?

YES!! Inspectors are checking ingredients, food labels and menus for substances that cannot be added to food.

What happens if an inspector finds adulterated food?

Any adulterated food will be “embargoed”, which means that it will have to be discarded or returned to the supplier.

Is having adulterated food a violation?

Yes!! If you adulterate food or have adulterated food in your establishment, you may be subject to fines as well as points that count towards your letter grade.

Contact Us for more information.

To ensure you are fully compliant with all rules and guidelines, schedule a mock inspection today.