Skip to content

Thinking of Opening a Food Establishment?

This is a brief overview of what is involved in opening a food establishment. This document is not comprehensive and does not guarantee your establishment will be permitted. This document merely highlights the steps involved for opening a food establishment.

Contact The Appropriate Regulatory Agency!

The entire state of Alaska, with the exception of the Municipality of Anchorage, is under the jurisdiction of the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation Food Safety and Sanitation Program. (Note: if you are a processor or wholesaler within the Municipality of Anchorage you would still be under State of Alaska jurisdiction). Contact the Environmental Health Officer assigned to the area in which the food establishment is located. If your food establishment is within the Municipality of Anchorage, they can be reached at (907) 343-4200.

New Or Extensive Remodel

The Plan Review Application (PDF) must be submitted to the department thirty days before construction or commencement/restart of operations if there will be:

  • construction of a new establishment
  • conversion of an existing structure for use as a food establishment
  • significant changes to the types of food; methods of food preparation; style of service, or a new type of operation is added (e.g. bar is added to a restaurant or espresso stand added to a market)
  • extensive remodeling of the existing establishment
  • a new food establishment that has not been previously permitted by the program

The Plan Review Application (PDF) will need to be submitted with:

There is a Plan Review Guide (PDF) that is available online to help guide you through the required documentation.

Change Of Owner

If the food establishment is currently permitted, operating, and there will not be significant menu changes then the following will need to be submitted:

Submitting a Food Establishment Application

No matter what you are planning on doing you will need to submit a Food Establishment Application (PDF). The application (in addition to any documentation required by the Plan Review Application (PDF)) will need to include the following:

  • a menu
  • applicable fees for each type of operation (18 AAC 31.050)
  • a Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point (HACCP) plan if you will be:
    • smoking for preservation
    • curing
    • acidifying
    • dehydrating
    • thermally processing low-acid food
    • reduced oxygen packaging (vacuum packing)
  • a statement that plans have been submitted for review and approval by the appropriate department (if applicable) including:
  • other information may be required based on your proposed process or menu

After The Application Packet Is Received

After a receiving a complete Plan Review Packet, the department will review the submitted plans and the permit application. You will receive written communication detailing any items that are not in compliance. If all items are in compliance, you will receive written approval for the proposed operation. You will need to schedule a preopening inspection with the local Environmental Health Officer prior to opening.