The State of Minnesota on Food Safety Laws

The State of Minnesota on Food Safety Laws

In the state of Minnesota, there are several federal laws that the state has adopted to help in accomplishing various government roles.  One of the federal laws involves ensuring food safety and responsible agencies in Minnesota. Minnesota food laws are a reflection of the federal regulation of food safety and responsible agencies.  Minnesota food laws begin by defining food as any commodity consumed by human beings or animals. The Food Safety Act in Minnesota is under the commissioner of agriculture and the department of health.

Provision of Law

Minnesota food safety laws have the following provisions. First, the law forbids the use of adulterated foods during manufacture, trade or supply. The law prohibits any form of intentional adulteration of foods. The food law also prohibits distribution of foods contained in mislabeled containers. The food safety law also prohibits false advertising. This means that a food advertisement cannot guarantee nutritional values, yet it does not contain them.  The law also permits inspectors to make inspection and take samples from any foods meant for human or animal consumptions (Hall, 2003).   The food safety laws also have a provision for the sanitary conditions where institutions manufacture, sell and serve food. The food safety laws require that manufacturing of food occurs in sanitary conditions approved by a food inspector.

Underlying Collective Social Values and Public Policy Justifications

Food laws are vital in ensuring protection of the Minnesota food supply from accidental or intentional contamination.  Ensuring that food is suitable for animal and human consumption guarantees that the population is safe.  Safe from vermin and disease causing bacteria and virus that could be found in food or beverages.  The state of Minnesota looks out to the public health and welfare of the population. The department of health does this by inspecting and granting licenses to food services that meet the food and safety standards as provided by the food safety act. The department of health, therefore, plays the role of looking out for the health and well being of the population.

The food safety model adopted by the state of Minnesota is similar to that provided by federal agencies such as The Food Safety and Inspection Services (FSIS) and The Food and Drugs Administration’s (FDA).  FSIS aims to enhance public health safety by ensuring the supply of foods such as meat, poultry and ages is safe. The agency strives to ensure that the products are safe, well packaged, and with correct labels prior to reaching the consumers.  The FDA, on the other hand, is a federal agency that strives to promote and protect public health by enhancing food safety.  The public health models that the state of Minnesota has adopted in relation to food safety are justified (Hartsfield, Moulton, & McKie, 2007).

Public health laws give public health authority allowing inspector to take drastic measures in case of violation of food safety standards. The main goal of food safety is to protect the public health thus the need for authority among officials to execute their powers. The authority of food safety agencies is seen in legal cases such as the nutritional health alliance v. the food and drug administration where the plaintiff(nutritional health alliance) question FDA’s authority over its authority to  regulate packaging of dietary supplements. The court upheld the authority of FDA by verifying that the authority of the health agency is provided in the FDC Act (OpenJurist).


Hall, M. (2003). The scope and limits of public health law. Perspectives in biology and medicine. Vol. 46(3): 199-209

Hartsfield, D., Moulton, A. & McKie, K. (2007). An analysis of Model Public Health Laws. Journal of Public Health, 97S56-S61.

OpenJurist. 318 F. 3d 92 -Nutritional Health Alliance v. Food and Drug Administration. Retrieved on November 16, 2012 from

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