Wholesale Food Protection Program
Welcome to the home page for the Indiana State Department of Health (ISDH) Wholesale Food Program. The Wholesale Food Program is responsible for sanitation, labeling, and overall safety of food products at the manufacturing and wholesale distribution levels. Included are commodities such as processed grain and bakery products; egg products; fruit, nut, and vegetable products; dressings; spices; soft drinks; cider; ice; bottled water; confections; deserts; soups; salads; and food additives.
Program staff inspect food manufacturing plants, food processors, food warehouses, food packagers, and transporters of food products. Raw ingredients and finished products are collected for laboratory analysis, with particular emphasis on ready-to-eat foods. Consumer complaints and suspected tampering cases are investigated; disposal of violative food products is supervised; and natural and man-made disasters involving food items are investigated. Additionally, ISDH’s Food Defense Program provides guidance to Indiana's food producers, processors, and distributors on how to conduct vulnerability assessments and on development of food security plans. Approximately 760 wholesale food manufacturers and distributors operate in Indiana.
Announcements / Current News
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the U.S. Social Security Administration (SSA) have jointly instituted a program that allows participating employers to verify whether newly hired employees are authorized to work in the United States. Known as "E-Verify," this program checks the information provided by employees on their Form I-9 against both DHS and SSA databases. Employer participation is voluntary and is not limited to the food industry. Learn more about this security measure at its website or call AC 888/464-4218.
Contact the Program
Indiana State Department of Health
Division of Consumer Protection
2 North Meridian Street, 5C
Indianapolis, IN 46204
(317) 233-1325 (ISDH Main Switchboard)
(317) 233-7332 [Administrative Assistant]
(317) 233-7334 [Fax]
Water microbiology laboratories (Indiana-certified)
Public water supply samples are required to be tested by a certified laboratory.
Order Form for Drinking Water Sample Bottle
Anyone can submit a drinking water sample for sodium, fluoride, nitrate, or bacteriological analysis by the ISDH Laboratory. The ISDH laboratory will provide a sterilized sample bottle with shipping form and container, upon payment of the necessary fee.
A form to apply for a variance from one or more of the state’s rules concerning food handling, machinery, or sanitary standards applicable to the operation of food establishments.
Wholesale Food Establishment Inspection Report Form
A form used to report the results of a wholesale food establishment inspection made by a State or local health department food inspector.
Wholesale Food Establishment Inspection Report Response Form
A form used to respond to a report of wholesale food establishment inspection made by a State or local health department food inspector.
Laws and Regulations
State Laws and Rules
Program Information and Policies
All cooked foods must be cooled rapidly to slow bacterial multiplication. Click here to go to find out how best to go about cooling foods.
How the ISDH uses enforcement, when necessary, to help bring food establishments with serious food safety problems in compliance with the food regulations. The enforcement process is utilized only after efforts to bring an establishment into compliance have not been successful.
Farmers Markets Food Sanitation
Download a slow-loading PowerPoint® presentation about farmers markets and the food sanitation requirements and recommendations that apply to their operation.
An food allergy is an abnormal response of the immune system, especially the production of allergen-specific IgE antibodies to naturally occurring proteins in certain foods that most individuals can eat safely. Frequently, an allergic reaction will occur because of an allergenic substance present in the food but not declared on the food label. Learn more about food allergies, and to see a list of foods most likely to cause an allergic reaction.
Food Defense Program
ISDH’s Food Defense Program provides guidance to Indiana's food producers, processors, and distributors on how to conduct vulnerability assessments and on development of food security plans.
Food Employee Health Policy
Every retail food establishment should have a written policy that requires its employees to notify the owner/general manager, or the "person-in-charge" when they experience symptoms of illness, so appropriate steps can taken to prevent foodborne disease transmission. Obtain an example of a food employee health policy.
Food Employee Health Questionnaire
An example of a food employee questionnaire that the owner/general manager, or the "person-in-charge" can use to ascertain the extent/seriousness of a food employee’s reported illness.
Food Entrepreneurship: Food Preservation and Processing Techniques
A Purdue University farmers market guide FS-15-W, entitled "Food Entrepreneurship: Food Preservation and Processing Techniques."
Food Entrepreneurship: Organic Products
A Purdue University farmers market guide FS-14-W, entitled "Food Entrepreneurship: Organic Products."
Food Entrepreneurship: Regulations for Indiana Food Processing
A Purdue University farmers market guide FS-16-W, entitled "Food Entrepreneurship: Regulations for Indiana Food Processing."
Food Entrepreneurship: Using Approved Kitchens
A Purdue University farmers market guide FS-17-W, entitled "Food Entrepreneurship: Using Approved Kitchens."
Food Handler Certification
Learn about new requirements for certification of food handlers, which became effective January 1, 2005.
Food Inspectors Standardization
Learn about standardization of State and local health department food inspectors, in accordance with U.S. Food and Drug Administration criteria, an effort to improve food safety and to achieve uniformity of inspections, throughout the nation.
Food Labeling Requirements
A summary of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s requirements for statements that must appear on food labels under its laws and regulations.
Food Safety for Kids
Food is something we need every day. But sometimes, the food we eat can make us sick. Kids can learn about food safety and how to prevent themselves or their families from getting sick.
Food Safety Regulations for Farmers' Markets
A Purdue University farmers market guide EC-740, entitled "Food Safety Regulations for Farmers' Markets."
If a retail food establishment operator suspects that any of his/her products have been subject to tampering, "counterfeiting," or other malicious, criminal, or terrorist acts, the first contact should your local law enforcement agency. View a listing of local contacts for federal and state agencies which should also be notified.
Food Security Self Assessment Tool
Owners and operators of retail food establishments can access a self-assessment tool designed to increase awareness and assist in the development of a food security plan tailored to their facility.
Fresh Produce Harvesters and Distributors Sanitation
Guidance for whole uncut fresh produce harvesters or distributors and local health departments about the minimal food sanitation requirements that apply to whole uncut fresh produce.
Hand Washing for Food Service Employees
Information for food service employees about hand washing: when hands should be washed; and the proper way to wash hands.
Honey Producers Sanitation
Guidance for both honey producers and local health departments about the minimal food sanitation requirements that apply to honey processing operations.
Maple Syrup Producers Sanitation
Guidance for maple syrup producers and local health departments about the minimal food sanitation requirements that apply to maple syrup processing operations.
Minimize Microbial Hazards from Fresh Fruit and Vegetables
A guide from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration about how to minimize microbial hazards from fresh fruits and vegetables.
Nutritional Labeling Requirements
Federal law requires nutrition labeling for most prepared foods, such as breads, cereals, canned and frozen foods, snacks, desserts, drinks, etc. However, nutrition labeling is voluntary for raw produce (fruits and vegetables) and fish. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration web site gives more detail about federal nutrition labeling requirements.
Information from the Indiana State Chemist about requirements for application of pesticides, and a list of pesticide products approved for use in Indiana.
Both FDA regulation 21 CFR 113.3, Low-Acid Foods, and 21 CFR 114.3, Acidified Foods, require that when a food manufacturer thermally processes foods in hermetically sealed containers, a schedule process authority be established by persons having expert knowledge of thermal processing requirements. Similarly, USDA regulation 9 CFR 318.300 requires use of a process authority when a food manufacturer thermally processes foods in hermetically sealed containers. View a list of companies/individuals which are known process authorities.
Rats and Mice
Rats and mice can be found in and around every town and farm in the country. It is estimated that there is one rat for every person living in the United States. Rodents have followed man to almost all parts of the world. They have no respect for social class; they are equal opportunity pests.
Response to Commercial Food Vehicle Accident
Learn how your state or local health department and the food supplier should respond to a vehicle accident involving transportation of commercial food supplies.
Response to Fire
How your state or local health department and the food supplier should respond to ensure food safety after a fire at a food service establishment.
Response to Flooding
How your state or local health department and the food supplier should respond to ensure food safety after flooding at a food service establishment.
Response to Power Outage
How your state or local health department and the food supplier should respond to ensure food safety after a power outage at a food service establishment.
Response to Sewage Back-up
How your state or local health department and the food supplier should respond to ensure food safety after a sewage back-up at a food service establishment.
Sanitizing Food Service Equipment
A chart showing how to properly wash and sanitize food service equipment and utensils, manually.
Starting a Farmers’ Market
A Purdue University farmers market guide EC-739, entitled "Starting a Farmers' Market."
Starting a Wholesale Food Business
Starting a wholesale food business requires careful planning, knowledge of food safety, and skillful management, in addition to knowledge of State and federal food laws and regulations. Guidance about starting a wholesale food business.
Storage of Prepackaged Frozen Meat
Guidance for both producers and local health departments about the minimal food sanitation requirements that apply to the storage of prepackaged frozen meat, poultry or rabbit products.
A temperature chart showing how hot or cold foods must be kept to control bacteria growth.
Types of Wholesale Food Businesses
There are a variety of wholesale food businesses operating in Indiana. Learn about the various types of wholesale food businesses.
Using the WIC Program: A Guide for Farmers' Market Masters, Vendors, and Roadside Stands
A Purdue University farmers market guide EC-741, entitled "Using the WIC Program: A Guide for Farmers' Market Masters, Vendors, and Roadside Stands."
A variance is a written document issued by ISDH upon demonstration of good cause, for a modification or deviation from one or more of the state’s rules concerning food handling, machinery, or sanitary standards applicable to retail food establishments. Learn more about variances and how to apply for one.
Reporting a Complaint
Register a Complaint About a Wholesale Food Establishment
How to register a complaint about a wholesale food establishment to your state or local health department.
Register a Complaint About a Wholesale Food Establishment (Not to ISDH)
How to register a complaint about a wholesale food establishment to federal or state agencies other than ISDH.
Report a complaint at firstname.lastname@example.org