Consumer Advisory FAQs
Animal products that are served raw or undercooked present a significantly increased risk of causing a foodborne illness (“food poisoning”) because they have not been cooked to eliminate disease-causing organisms.
Facilities that serve these types of foods must inform customers of this increased risk of illness by providing a consumer advisory on their menus.
Note: There are many ways of providing a consumer advisory. The example shown below is the most common. Refer to the regulations for specific requirements and options.
A consumer advisory is a written statement that:
- informs consumers about the increased risk of foodborne illness when eating raw or undercooked animal products, and
- identifies any items on a food establishment’s menu that contain raw or undercooked animal products.
A consumer advisory is only required if you offer menu items containing raw or undercooked animal products to customers, including meat, eggs, poultry, seafood, and shellstock (oysters, clams, mussels, etc.) (3-401.11 D).
If all foods are cooked to their required internal temperatures (3-401.11 A), then you do not need a consumer advisory.
The consumer advisory consists of two parts: a reminder and disclosure (3-603.11 A).
The goal of the reminder (3-603.11 C) is to inform consumers of the increased risk of illness from eating raw or undercooked foods. This can be accomplished by placing a written statement anywhere on the menu, placard, table tent, or by other written means. The reminder requirement can be satisfied by the following statements, or any similar variation.
“Thoroughly cooking food of animal origin, including but not limited to beef, eggs, fish, lamb, milk, poultry, or shellstock reduces the risk of food borne illness. Young children, the elderly, and individuals with certain health conditions may be at a higher risk if these foods are consumed raw or undercooked.” (3-401.11 D)
“Written information regarding the safety of these items is available upon request.” (3-603.11 C)
“Consuming raw or undercooked meat, poultry, seafood, shellstock, or eggs may increase your risk of food borne illness.” (3-603.11 C)
“Consuming raw or undercooked meat, poultry, seafood, shellstock, or eggs may increase your risk of food borne illness, especially in case of certain medical conditions.” (3-603.11 C)
The goal of the disclosure (3-603.11 B) is to point out the specific menu items that carry an increased risk of foodborne illness. This can be completed by making a clear identification of specific menu items containing raw or undercooked animal products.
The most common way to disclose menu items is to place an asterisk (*) next to each menu item that contains raw or undercooked animal products. An asterisk should also be placed next to the reminder statement to link the menu items to the reminder.
The disclosure is only for animal foods that can be served raw or undercooked. Menu items that will always be treated to eliminate all disease-causing organisms will not require a disclosure, such as chicken that will be served only after being fully cooked to the required internal temperature. (3-401.11 A)
Other menu items that do not need a disclosure include foods made with pasteurized egg products and foods treated using other approved processes.
If your food establishment offers animal products that are raw or undercooked in places such as buffets, salad bars, sushi bars, or display cases, then your facility will need to do the following:
Menus without a consumer advisory will be in compliance by doing one of the following:
- Reprint the menu to include the consumer advisory, indicating the reminder and appropriate disclosures.
- Modify the existing menu to include a reminder statement and a disclosure symbol for every relevant menu item. The symbol must remain consistent throughout the menu.
Download a sample menu PDF 162KB that reflects the information provided on this webpage.
Telephone: (702) 759-0588
Updated on: October 10, 2018