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Food Facility Operating Permit

You need a food facility operating permit when:

  • You are building a new food facility.
  • You are purchasing an existing food facility (change of ownership).
  • You are opening a food facility in a building that is not currently open, or has not operated as a food facility.

Avoid possible delays!

Contact your local building department for any building, construction, and fire system requirements when you begin the food facility operating permit application process. 

    Change of Ownership

    New owners must contact a food inspector to determine which permitting process they need to complete.

    Start by Contacting a Food Inspector

    Contact Environmental Health & Safety to talk with one of our food inspectors. Your inspector will:

    • Determine if your facility needs a site review. The fee for a site review is $342, plus the hourly rate of $171 after two hours.
    • Make recommendations to help you develop your food facility plan, if needed.
    • Determine which permitting process you need to complete.

    You may contact us by: 

      After you receive the inspector's feedback, you are ready to move on to the next step.

      The Permitting Processes

      After discussing the various aspects of your food facility, the inspector will determine which permitting process you need to complete:

      New Construction or Major Upgrades
      A plan check and construction inspection is needed before you submit your permit application.

      Minor Upgrades
      You must work with your inspector to identify and remedy the minor upgrades needed before you submit your permit application.

      No Upgrades Required
      No site review or plan check required; you may submit your permit application.

      Tasting Room Permit Exemption
      Your beer or wine tasting room may apply for a permit exemption.

      Not sure which permitting process you need to complete? Please contact your food inspector, or the Environmental Health & Safety office.

      Contact Information

      Public Health Division
      County of Sonoma
      Business Hours
      Monday – Friday
      7:30 AM – 4:30 PM
      Office Location
      625 5th Street
      Santa Rosa, CA 95404
      38.44178, -122.7158781

      Report a Complaint, Hazard or Nuisance

      The California Retail Food Code

      Download CalCode [PDF]
      CalCode establishes uniform statewide health and sanitation standards for retail food facilities.

      Marine Biotoxin Monitoring Reports

      Marine Biotoxin Monitoring Reports


      The California Dept. of Public Health monitors the water along the California coast to provide information on the safety of eating shellfish.


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