Food regulation is constantly evolving. Wisconsin food regulation has much in common with regulation elsewhere, but it also has unique features rooted in Wisconsin conditions and history. Regulation has multiple goals: to protect public health and safety, to prevent fraud and unfair competition, and to maintain a secure and abundant food supply.
Wisconsin has a proud tradition of food safety, but that tradition is being tested in many ways. Wisconsin faces new food safety and security challenges. According to the Centers for Disease Control, food-borne diseases account for 48 million illnesses, 128,000 hospitalizations and 3,000 deaths in the U.S. each year. Meanwhile, animal disease and biosecurity hazards threaten our underlying food production systems.
The following is a summary of the resulting laws and regulations that guide the work of the Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection's Division of Food and Recreational Safety: