Consumer Advisory and Why Food Establishments are Required to Post Them
The current food code requires that animal products or unpasteurized packaged juices and milk be identified (“disclosed”) on the menu, label, or sign if they are served undercooked or raw.
Why is Consumer Advisory required?
Eating raw or undercooked foods and unpasteurized juices and milk poses an increased risk of foodborne illness, especially for vulnerable people. The intent of the Consumer Advisory is to notify customers of the increased risk, so they are better able to make informed decisions when placing their order.
What is a Consumer Advisory?
A Consumer Advisory is a publicly posted notice that certain ready-to-eat foods pose a health risk because they are not processed to destroy pathogens. Consumer Advisory consists of two parts:
- Disclosure – Identification of the animal foods served undercooked must:
- Reminder – Statement of the health risk must
- Be written
- Be on the menu (or otherwise presented to the customers in writing at the time they place their order)
- Identify the food items that are served raw or undercooked
Examples of disclosure statements include:
- “Oysters on the half shell (raw oysters)"
- “Our steaks are cooked to order”
- “Raw-egg Caesar salad”
- “Contains raw or undercooked eggs.”
- Be written
- Be printed on the menu where customers can easily find (preferably on the page where the first undercooked item appears) or otherwise presented to customers
Examples of reminder statements include:
- “Consuming raw or undercooked meats, poultry, seafood, shellfish, or eggs may increase your risk of foodborne illness, especially if you have certain medical conditions.”
- “Consuming raw or undercooked meats, poultry, seafood, shellfish, or eggs may increase your risk of foodborne illness.”
- "Regarding the safety of these items, written information is available upon request.” [A handout that meets FDA guidelines must be available for this option.]"
Who needs to post a Consumer Advisory?
All establishments that serve raw or undercooked animal foods or unpasteurized juices and milk are required to post a Consumer Advisory
Animal foods traditionally served raw or undercooked include:
- Hamburgers and steaks, cooked to order
- Oysters and other shellfish
- Fish (sushi, sashimi, and ceviche)
- Eggs served undercooked (fried, poached, sunny side up, “runny”)
- Eggs undercooked as ingredients (sauces, eggnog, tiramisu, mousse, meringue pie, Caesar salad dressing, fresh mayonnaise)
- Meats ordered “rare” (carpaccio, steak tartare)
- Raw Milk