Food Facility Evaluation

The department has updated our food facility evaluation process to more clearly identify the steps needed for new owners seeking to obtain a permit to operate a new business. This includes when a new owner/entity has taken over an existing food facility (ownership change). In addition, the facility evaluation is required when a food facility has been inactivated or closed. A facility evaluation can be requested prior to purchasing a facility to ensure compliance prior to purchasing the business. The modified process provides several tools to assist you in making your food facility successful by providing guidance documents such as flow charts and checklists to better understand the process and associated timelines. All DEH permits are site-specific, owner specific, and are non-transferrable. It is highly recommended that new owners perform their due diligence to understand what may be required of a new owner. The California Health and Safety Code Section 114381 generally requires food facilities to be brought up to current code when a new owner applies for a permit. In addition, significant menu changes that may result in equipment or facility modification could be required to obtain approval from our Plan Check Unit. 

Woman in commercial kitchen, stirring

A completed Food Facility Evaluation Packet and Menu (if applicable) must be submitted when a new owner takes over an existing permanent food facility.  It is highly recommended that a new owner apply as early as possible and prior to operating. If not submitted in advance, the new owner must submit within 10 days of operation, otherwise penalty fees may be applied. 

A non-refundable, non-transferable fee of $435.00 will be assessed on all change of ownership requests.  Fees will cover application processing, file review and one site inspection. 

Please refer to the steps below to apply for your new permit to operate:

1.  Complete and submit Food Facility Evaluation Packet
2.  Attach menu (if applicable)
3.  Prepare for inspection (Refer to Facility Self-Inspection Checklist)
4.  Onsite inspection
5.  Pay Permit Fees

Operating without a valid permit with the Department of Environmental Health will result in enforcement action including penalty fees. Any food facilities found operating without a valid permit will be closed and penalties will occur. 


​​​Additional Documents

Information Regarding Specialized Processes

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