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The Florida Department of Health works to protect, promote, and improve the health of all people in Florida through integrated state, county, and community efforts.

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Food Operations: Inspections and Permitting

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Department of Health Food Safety and Sanitation Program

The Department of Health works with food service establishments as defined by s. 381.0072, Florida Statutes  to help ensure their products are not a source of foodborne illness. This includes food service operations located in institutional settings (such as schools, assisted living facilities, detention facilities, adult day cares, etc.), civic and fraternal organizations, bars and lounges that don't prepare foods, and theaters that limit their food service to items customarily served at theaters (such as beverages, popcorn, hot dogs and nachos).

Steps to Apply for a Food Service Permit from the Florida Department of Health:

1. Contact the Florida Department of Health in Martin County (772-221-4090) and speak with the Food Coordinator to confirm that your proposed food establishment is under the jurisdiction of the Florida Department of Health. The Food Coordinator will provide you with the necessary application forms and briefly explain the permitting process and requirements for your specific establishment.

2. Submit a completed plan review packet to the Florida Department of Health in Martin County. Packet includes but is not limited to an “application for plan review,” 2 complete sets of plans (including site plans and floor plans of the entire facility – food service area needs to also show the location of equipment, plumbing, electrical services and mechanical ventilation), utility “sign-off” for water and sewage, equipment schedules and plan review fee.

3.  Submit a completed “application for a sanitation certificate” with permit fee.

4. When construction is completed, facility is basically ready to open and all kitchen equipment is installed and fully operational, schedule the opening inspection.

5. Have a Satisfactory inspection by Florida Department of Health in Martin County. There will be additional fees if multiple inspections are required.

Facility may not operate until permit is issued.

In Florida, food operations are inspected and permitted by multiple government agencies including:

Restaurants: The Department of Business and Professional Regulation. (DBPR) regulates restaurants, most mobile food vehicles, caterers, and most public food service events. Customer Contact Center (850) 487-1395 or online complaint form.

Grocery Stores: The Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (DACS) generally regulates supermarkets and grocery stores, convenience stores, coffee shops, bakeries, retail meat markets, seafood markets, juice and smoothie bars, bottled water plants, ice and water vending machines, all food processing plants, food warehouses, food salvage stores, and certain mobile food units selling only prepackaged foods. You can reach their Consumer Assistance and Information Center by calling 1-800-435-7352 or you can file a facility complaint online.

Alcohol Licenses are issued by the Department of Business and Professional Regulation.

Where can I find FL DOH food hygiene inspection reports?

Where can I find more information, including the laws governing food facilities in Florida?