A consumer advisory is information that a retailer must share with the customer that states raw or undercooked animal foods are on the menu. A consumer advisory is required to have two parts: a disclosure and a reminder. This information can be shared with the customer in several ways such as a menu, table tent, label statement, brochure, placard, etc., and belongs at the point where the food is selected by the consumer. For additional information refer to the Consumer Advisory (PDF), (Somali PDF), (Spanish PDF) fact sheet.
A disclosure is a written statement that clearly identifies the raw or undercooked animal food, or item that contains a raw or undercooked ingredient. Words like “raw” or “undercooked” can be used in the description of the food, OR an asterisk can be placed by the name of the food and use a footnote that states the food is served raw or undercooked.
A reminder is a written statement that eating raw or undercooked food is associated with an increased risk of foodborne illness. The reminder must include an asterisk by the menu item and a footnote to connect the specific food product to the statement.
Common Applications of a Consumer Advisory within Facilities Regulated by the MDA
A consumer advisory is commonly included on a restaurant menu serving raw or undercooked food or when a customer can order an item cooked to their preference, such as a hamburger or steak. However, there are other applications where the specific type of food requires a consumer advisory, or an advisory is required due to how the food is advertised. Some examples are below.
Sushi is commonly made with raw fish ingredients. Although a consumer may not specifically order the product raw, a disclosure and reminder on the package are still required. The disclosure and reminder are also required on the menu board or pamphlet if consumers are allowed to order for immediate service. This helps inform the consumer which sushi rolls have raw or cooked ingredients, so they can make an informed decision. Refer to the Fish Intended for Raw Consumption (PDF) (Somali PDF), (Spanish PDF) fact sheet for other requirements on serving raw or undercooked fish.
Shellstock in a Retail Service Case
Clams, oysters, mussels, and other shellstock are considered raw, ready-to-eat foods per the Minnesota Food Code. These foods are likely to be eaten raw or undercooked and therefore require a consumer advisory. Other raw meats in the service case do NOT require a consumer advisory as it is likely the consumer will cook them prior to consumption.
'Sushi Grade' Fish
Fish used for sushi, or “Sushi grade” fish, sold or advertised in a seafood case is becoming more common. When fish is sold or marketed as “sushi grade”, the food establishment is indicating the food is safe to be consumed as a raw, ready-to-eat food and must provide a consumer advisory. When certain species of fish are sold as “sushi grade”, such as salmon, a retailer must also have proper documentation showing the fish was properly frozen to destroy parasites. Refer to the Fish Intended for Raw Consumption (PDF) (Somali PDF), (Spanish PDF) fact sheet for other requirements on serving raw or undercooked fish.
Raw Eggs in Cocktails
Various drinks such as Tom and Jerry, eggnog, or pisco sour are commonly prepared with raw eggs. When these items are prepared with raw eggs, a consumer advisory is required on the menu to ensure consumers are aware of the increased risk of consuming the beverage. Alternatively, if these items are prepared with pasteurized eggs, no consumer advisory is required.