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Opening a New Food Establishment

Food truck

Thinking of opening your own restaurant, market, deli, espresso stand, or mobile food unit?

Below are resources to help you get started. Contact your local Environmental Health Officer for more information.


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. For more information about each type of establishment, refer to the following pages:

New Or Extensive Remodel

The Plan Review Application 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 will need to be submitted with:

The Plan Review Guide will 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. The application (in addition to any documentation required by the Plan Review Application) 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 or program (if applicable) including the:
  • 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.

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