Starting a Food Business

A food establishment is any business that serves food to the public. This includes but is not limited to grocery stores, delis, restaurants, bakeries, bars, coffee stands, mini marts, summer camp and school cafeterias.

Prior to remodeling an existing food establishment or opening a new food establishment, the Washington State Food Code requires a plan review approval by the local health jurisdiction. This review process helps to ensure compliance with state and local health code requirements. Look through the Plan Review Guidelines (PDF) and Plan Review Packet (PDF).

To complete the plan review, the following items will need to be submitted to the Health District:

Change of Ownership

Did you purchase a new food establishment? If so, please submit a Food Establishment Permit Application (PDF).

New Mobile Food Unit

A mobile food unit includes food trucks, push carts, and any other mobile food operation. A mobile food unit is typically supported by an approved commissary kitchen for food preparation and storage.

New mobile food units need to apply for a plan review with the Health District to ensure compliance with state regulation.

Already have a mobile food unit that is permitted in another county and wish to operate it in the Tri County area? Please submit the Mobile Food Unit Reciprocity Checklist.

Currently, state law does not allow a food establishment to operate in a residential home.

Permanent Establishments Exempt From Permit

To see if your establishment is exempt from a food establishment permit, view the exempt food items here. If your establishment falls under the exemption category, please submit an Exemption from Permit Application to

Exemption From Permit Application