Our Environmental Health Specialists review and approve applications for the construction of new food establishments or the remodeling of existing ones. The process begins by contacting us and talking to an Environmental Health Specialist to go over requirements and then submitting the completed application and plans to our office. Plans are reviewed to ensure that the establishment will have all the necessary facilities and equipment. Permits are not transferable between new owners.A Plan Review is required before
- Construction of a food establishment
- Conversion of an existing structure for use as a food establishment
- Remodeling of an existing food establishment
- Change in ownership of an existing food establishment (not always required)
The Food Establishment Permit Application is an annual permit that must be completed and returned:
- Prior to opening a new food establishment (along with required plan review)
- As a renewal no later than January 10th of each calendar year
- When a food establishment has changed ownership
Change of Ownership
When changing ownership of an existing food establishment, permits are non-transferable and the new owner must apply for a new permit to operate. When this occurs please contact out office at (509) 524-2650.
Types of Permits
Annual Food Service Establishments
An annual food service establishment is a facility that operates at a fixed location, including restaurants, grocery stores, bars, taverns and wineries. Depending on what items are served in the food establishment will dictate what type of equipment will be required. For more information, please contact us at (509) 524-2650.
Temporary Food Establishments
Permits are required for temporary food establishments at events such as fairs, festivals, fundraisers, sporting events, circuses, carnivals, conventions and other public events.
Temporary food establishments must operate at a fixed location less than 21 days or at recurring event like farmer’s market.
Temporary permits are based on the complexity of the food you are serving and the food handling that occurs during your food service operational hours. For more information on temporary food establishments click HERE.
Mobile Food Units
Mobile Food Units are a special type of food establishment that gives the vendor the ability to move from location to location throughout the county without additional permits. For more information click HERE. (In ‘Food Safety’ main page, include ‘mobile food units’ with link to mobile food units page in first paragraph.)
Beverage-related Businesses (winery, brewery, and distillery)
Businesses that provide food or beverages to the public are required to obtain a food establishment permit from the local health department. The food code defines beverages as a food, therefore businesses that are beverage related, such as wine tasting rooms, tap rooms and distillery tasting rooms are required by the Food Code to get a permit. This includes submittal of the plan review application and approval by the health department. Once the plan review is approved, then a permit to operate as a food service establishment can be obtained and must be renewed annually.