How to Open a Food Business

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How to Open a New Food Facility

In order to open a NEW food facility, there needs to be a little more planning than opening a restaurant without the proper licenses, permits, or paperwork. Many new food facility owners who do not know or understand the rules of opening a food facility will pay out more fees due to building citations or permit violations. To prevent any citations or violations follow the steps below to open a food facility with ease. 


STEP ONE: Pre-Planning
  1. One set of plans (required)
  2. All plans must be drawn to scale (minimum of 1/4 inch per foot)
  3. Equipment specification sheets and menu must be included with application
  4. Food Facility Plan Review application and the check list must be included with the set of plans
  5. Fill out the Request for Service form
  6. Go to the Yolo County Environmental Health Division to pay the required fees and submit paper work.
    • Fees paid covers the time it takes to review the plan check and the final construction inspection
    • It takes about 20 business days for the Inspectors to review plans.

* Plans and applications that are incomplete will be rejected. If you have any questions comments or concerns, please contact the Environmental Health Division



 STEP TWO: Pre-Construction
  1. When plans are approved, contact the local building department for a building permit before beginning construction.
  2. If construction or demolition begins without the proper building permit, the facility will be subject to citations and the building will be red tagged until permit is approved.

    **Do NOT change the site plan unless confirmed and approved by an Environmental Health Specialist. Changes on the site plan can be costly and delay the opening of a facility.
  3. When the building permit is approved, construction may begin. 

Other permits needed to open a food facility can be found through Permits Made Simple.



 STEP THREE: Post-Construction
  1. When construction is finished, a final inspection of the facility is done. Facility must pass the final inspection in order to obtain a health permit prior to operating.
  2. When the facility passes the final inspection, they need to fill out the Food Permit Application, and pay the required fees for the health permit.
    • Fees for Health permit covers 1-2 routine inspections a year (depends on the facility type) and 1 follow-up inspection per routine inspection.

*Additional follow-up inspections will be charged by an hourly rate.



STEP FOUR: Food Facility Requirements

The following items are REQUIRED for restaurants employees to have and know

  1. Food Manager Certification
    Person who has a Food Manager Certification does NOT need a Food Handler Card.
  2. Food Handler Card
    All employees who do not have a food managers certificate MUST have a food handler card. 
  3. Hand-washing requirements & Guidelines
    • Wash hands frequently. Dirty hands spread disease! All food handlers must thoroughly wash their hands and arms...paying particular attention to areas between fingers and around and under the nails. Food handlers are to wash their hands prior to food preparation, when switching between working with raw foods and working with ready-to-eat foods, prior to handling clean utensils, after using the restroom, after coughing, eating, drinking, using tobacco or other activities that contaminate the hands.
  4. Food Temperatures
    • Cooking Temperatures. Cook food thoroughly. Foods must be cooked to the minimal internal temperatures listed below:
      1. 165ºF for 15 seconds for poultry, any stuffing containing fish, beef, pork or poultry, or stuffed fish, beef, pork, or poultry.
      2. 155ºF for 15 seconds for ground fish and ground meat (hamburgers).
      3. 145ºF for 15 seconds for eggs or dishes containing raw eggs, whole fish, and whole meat.
    • Reheating. All previously cooked, cooled, and reheated foods must be reheated to an internal temperature of 165ºF.
      Examples: refried beans and fried rice.
    • Thermometer. Provide a metal probe thermometer with a temperature range of 0ºF -200ºF to check food holding and cooking temperatures

    5.    Sick or Ill Employees

    • Do not work if you are sick! Food handlers must be in good health. People with symptoms such as cough, runny nose, fever, diarrhea, or feeling generally ill should not work within the food booth.
    • Employees with cuts or sores on their hands must wear gloves in addition to proper hand-washing. 



Contact Us

Hours of Operation

292 West Beamer Street
Woodland, CA 95695

Phone: (530) 666-8646
Fax: (530) 669-1448
Email: click here

Office Hours
Monday - Friday
8am-12pm & 1pm-4pm

Inspector Hours
Monday- Friday



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