- Public Health and Environment
- Environmental Services
- Licenses and Permits
- Food Service Establishments
Food Service Establishments
Licensing and Inspection
The Department of Public Health and Environment licenses and inspects food service establishments. The regulations are outlined in the Washington County Food Ordinance and the Minnesota Food Code. Grocery stores, convenience stores, bakeries, meat processing, and candy-making businesses are regulated by the Minnesota Department of Agriculture.
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Apply for a License
Food service establishment licenses are not transferable to person or place. A change of ownership inspection must be conducted prior to the closing date of the sale and a new license must be obtained before you begin operation of the business.
- Complete the License Application.
- Submit completed license application, payment, and a copy of the proposed menu to Washington County Department of Public Health & Environment.
- Contact the Department of Public Health and Environment for an inspection and obtain license prior to operation of restaurant.
A complete set of plans must be submitted 30 days before construction begins.
- Complete the Plan Review Application (PDF).
- View the Construction Guide (PDF) for plan requirements.
- Submit completed Plan Review Application, payment, and items specified in the construction guide to Washington County Department of Public Health & Environment.
- Complete a License Application for the establishment once plan review is complete.
Mobile Food Units (MFU) and Seasonal Temporary Food Stands licensed by any agency other than Minnesota Department of Agriculture must obtain a license from Washington County Department of Public Health and Environment before operating in Washington County. If you aren’t currently licensed by another Minnesota health department contact our department before submitting an application.
- Complete the License Application.
- Submit completed license application and payment to Washington County Department of Public Health & Environment.
- Contact Department of Public Health and Environment for an inspection and obtain license prior to operation.
Note: A late fee of $30 must be paid if the application is received 3 calendar days or less before the event.
A plan review application may be necessary. Contact the Department of Public Health and Environment with questions.
A Special Event food stand is a food service establishment which is used in conjunction with celebrations and special events, and which operates no more than ten days each calendar year.
- Read the Special Event Standards (PDF).
- Complete the Special Event Food Stand License Application
- Submit the completed application and payment to the Washington County Department of Public Health.
- A late fee of $30 must be paid if the application is received 3 calendar days or less before the event.
- The fee will be waived for a nonprofit organization to apply for and obtain a Special Event Food Stand License.
- Proof of nonprofit status is required.
- A completed application must be submitted at least 3 calendar days prior to the event otherwise penalty fees for late applications will apply.
- Application approval and a posted license are still required for nonprofit establishments.
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Report a Concern
To report a concern or complaint about a food service establishment, go to Report a Concern and submit the information. Your report will go directly to the department for follow-up.
If you suspect that you have become ill from food, call the Public Health and Environmental Department at 651-430-6655, or go to Report a Concern. You can also report through the Minnesota Department of Health Foodborne Illness Hotline at 1-877-FOOD-ILL (1-877-366-3455).