ABSTRACT:  Phthalates are a group of diesters of ortho-phthalic acid (dialkyl or alkyl aryl esters of 1,2-benzenedicarboxylic acid). Higher-molecular-weight phthalates, such as di-2-ethylhexyl phthalate (DEHP), are primarily used as plasticizers to soften polyvinyl chloride (PVC) products, while the lower-molecular-weight phthalates, such as diethyl phthalate (DEP), di-n-butyl phthalate (DBP), and butyl benzyl phthalate (BBzP), are widely used as solvents to hold color and scent in various consumer and personal care products. Phthalates have become ubiquitous environmental contaminants due to volatilization and leaching from their widespread applications, and thus contamination of the environment has become another important source for phthalates in foods in addition to migration from packaging materials. Human exposure to phthalates has been an increased concern due to the findings from toxicology studies in animals. DEHP, one of the important and widely used phthalates, is a rodent liver carcinogen. DEHP, DBP, BBzP, and several phthalate metabolites, such as monobutyl phthalate, monobenzyl phthalate, and mono-(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate, are teratogenic in animals. Since foods are the major source of exposure to phthalates, information on levels of phthalates in foods is important for human exposure assessment. The objective of this review is to identify the knowledge gaps for future investigations by reviewing levels of a wide range of phthalates in a variety of foods, such as bottled water, soft drinks, infant formula, human milk, total diet foods, and others, migration of phthalates from various food-packaging materials, and traditional and new methodologies for the determination of phthalates in foods.