Food Inspections

Opening Inspection

An "Opening Inspection" is required before operation as a Food Establishment to determine that the requirements of the Florida Food Act (Chapter 500, Florida Statutes), the Retail Food Store Sanitation Code, and the Florida Administrative Rules (5K-4 F.A.C.) have been complied with. The criteria that apply to the construction, renovation or conversion of a structure for a Food Establishment are contained in the Minimum Construction Standards [ Adobe PDF Document 263.87 KB ] and Water and Sewage Requirements for Food Permit and Initial Inspection [ Adobe PDF Document 794.64 KB ].

Links to websites containing related rules and regulations.

Plan Review

Voluntary Plan Review is available. Please read the Plan Review Information and Plan Review Application [ Adobe PDF Document ] for additional information.

Mobile Food Units, Push Carts, and Semipermanent Food Establishments

A booklet has been compiled to provide a concise reference to rules and guidelines governing Mobile Food Units, Push Carts, and Semipermanent Food Establishments.

Requesting an Opening or Initial Inspection

Download form [ Adobe PDF Document ]. An "Opening Inspection" should be requested two weeks before opening by calling (850) 245-5520. When calling for the opening inspection you can give a phone number, business location address and person to contact. An Inspector will be assigned who will contact you in three to five working days for the opening inspection. At the time of the opening inspection you should be prepared to supply all of the information contained on the Food Permit Application. Please do not fill out this application before the inspection. The Inspector will assist you with this at the time of the inspection. The Food Establishment cannot open if the rating is Fail.

Inspection Rating

The Sanitation and Safety Inspector will issue the Food Establishment a Sanitation Rating at the end of the inspection of Pass - Fail.

Expiration of Permits

Permits expire annually on Dec. 31.

Annual Renewal

An Annual Renewal Permit Application and Fee Notice will be mailed to you at your current business mailing address in adequate time for you to renew your application, pay your fees and get your Renewal Permit before Jan. 1 of each year.

Renewal Requirements

Before receiving a Renewal Permit you must submit the required fee along with the signed annual application.

Food Permit Fees

The link below contains a listing of the Permit Fees for various Food Establishment Types. If a new establishment opens after July 1, the fee is 60 percent of the listed amount. A $10 epidemiology fee is collected for the Department of Health for each food establishment in addition to the fees for the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services.

Food Permit Fees [ Adobe PDF Document 206.87 KB ]

Late Fees

Late fees are $100 and are required if payment for Renewal Food Permits is not received by Feb. 1. Permits will not be issued until all fees including the late fee are received.

Change of Ownership

Permits are not transferable. A "change of ownership" inspection must be requested in the same method as requesting an "opening inspection."

Change of Location

Permits are not transferable from one location to another except mobile vendors. An "opening inspection" must be requested.

Change in Type of Business

If you add a new type of business, for example, if you add a deli or bakery to your current establishment, this may require a change in firm type. You must notify the Department at (850) 245-5520 to determine if the change requires an inspection. Additional requirements may be necessary when you make changes to your current business.

Change in an Owner/Business Mailing Address

The Records section at (850) 245-5520 must be notified when there is a change in either the owner's or the business's mailing address. This is necessary so that we can get business correspondence to you (your permit, product recalls, notices, etc.).

Related Links