Food and Drug Unit

The Food and Drug Unit of the Office of Public Health regulates a variety of activities and processes pertaining to food, drugs, and cosmetics in the state of Louisiana. Regulated facilities include food-manufacturing facilities; drug-manufacturing facilities; food and drug storage warehouses; ice-manufacturing plants; ice-vending units; bottled water facilities; acidified- and low-acid canned foods processors; food banks; breweries; wineries; wholesale producers of value-added seafood products (such as gumbos and etouffees); beef and poultry product storage warehouses; medical-gas manufacturers and trans-fillers; medical-gas distribution facilities; UV tanning facilities; commercial body art (tattooing, permanent makeup, and body piercing) facilities; and water-vending units.

Please note that for assistance with retail operations like restaurants and grocery stores, you must contact your local parish health unit sanitarian.


Program Administrator Brian R. Warren giving a presentation on food labelling at the LA Fisheries Forward meeting in March 2018



FDA and CDC continue to investigate an ongoing E. coli O157:H7 outbreak that appears to be linked to romaine lettuce grown in the Yuma, AZ region of the United States. At this time, CDC is recommending that all romaine lettuce in the possession of consumers be discarded as a precautionary measure. E. coli O157:H7 infections are associated with hemolytic uremic syndrome and several other complications that can make them life-threatening illnesses. For additional information, please see here.  

The outbreak is said to be linked only to romaine lettuce, either whole heads or chopped lettuce, and only to produce from the Yuma, Arizona region. The investigation continues. 



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Fast Facts

  • Food and Drug Unit inspectors conducted over 2,446 inspections of food, drug, cosmetic, UV tanning, and commercial body art facilities in FY 2017.
  • FDU inspectors conduct inspections on behalf of the federal Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as part of the Federal Inspection Program (FIP) contract.
  • Staff members issue thousands of export certificates and certificates of free sale annually.