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Restaurant/Retail Food Licenses

A Food Service License is issued to a location or area where food is prepared and served in individual portions. Examples include restaurants, cafeterias, and schools.

A Retail Food Establishment License is issued to a facility that sells prepackaged food items, or sells multiple servings of food products. Examples include grocery stores, gas stations, and most pizza shops.

Ohio Administrative Code Chapter 3701-21 Food Service Operations

Ohio Administrative Code Chapter 3717-1 Ohio Uniform Food Safety Code

Ohio Revised Code Chapter 3717:Retail Food Establishments; Food Service Operations

Ohio Administrative Code Chapter 901:3-4, Retail Food Establishments

Building a New Facility

This process starts by submitting plans to us along with a plan review submittal form. In addition, you can view all requirements here.

The Plan Review Submittal Form must be submitted along with the designated fee. If any required information is missing from your plans, the plan review process may be placed on hold until all required documentation is received.

Once all required information is received, the plans will be reviewed. State law allows a maximum of 30 days for the plan review. Once the plans have been reviewed, an approval letter will be mailed.  You may call and schedule a final inspection once all work is completed. Please use the final inspection checklist to ensure that you are ready for inspection.

To obtain your food license, you will need to complete the license application and pay the related license fee. There are different categories of licenses with varying fees. Talk to your inspector to determine which category and fee will apply to you.

In addition to the plan review, all requirements for the Level One Food Safety Training must be satisfied.

Person-In-Charge/Level One Food Safety Training

A person in charge (PIC) must be present during all hours of operation. The PIC  must be knowledgeable about food safety, and be able to answer questions regarding the facility. The PIC must be able to demonstrate and explain foodborne disease transmission, such as distinguishing and describing the symptoms of the twelve communicable diseases. Other duties of the PIC include the application of a quality assurance (QA) plan which helps to identify the critical control points, recognize food allergens, and ensure that all employees are educated in food safety to prevent biological, physical, and chemical contaminants.

***You must complete Level One Food Safety Training by the Final Inspection OR within 30 days after opening***

Visit the following sites for approved Level One Training:
ServSafe Level One Training
Here is the Food Safety Packet/Review of the Rules
Food License Application
Ohio Certification - Ohio Department of Health

Purchasing an Existing Facility

After an existing facility is purchased, an inspector must perform a change of ownership inspection. This is to ensure that the facility complies with current regulations.

A Food License Application that includes all of the new owner’s information must be submitted.

Please contact the designated Inspector prior to operating.

At the time of the change of ownership inspection, the operator may submit the Food License Application along with the designated Fee.

Remodeling a Licensed Facility

Plans must be submitted prior to starting renovations.

All renovations must be reviewed and approved.

  • This includes changes to the plumbing, existing facilities, and the addition of new equipment. Any changes must meet current Food Code requirements.

Cosmetic changes, such as painting, do not need prior approval.

Please contact the designated Inspector with any questions regarding a remodel.