How to Apply for Food Establishment Permits
BUILDING OR REMODELING A FOOD SERVICE ESTABLISHMENT
Whether you are Building a New Facility or Remodeling an Existing one, the Rockingham County Department of Environmental Health Food and Lodging Section reviews all new facility plans for approval prior to construction except for Prototype "Chain" or "Franchise" Facilities.
Plans must be submitted with the necessary paperwork (see checklist below) to the Rockingham County Department of Environmental Health Food and Lodging Section.
PLANS MUST BE SUBMITTED WITH THE FOLLOWING:
- A complete set of plans drawn to scale showing the placement of each piece of food service equipment, storage areas and trash can washing facilities. Additional site plan showing the location of any exterior equipment, such as dumpsters or walk-in coolers must also be provided if applicable.
- Manufacturer specification sheets for each piece of new equipment (not required, but helpful)
- Complete Food Service Plan Review Application
- Proposed menu
- $220 Plan Review Fee for newly constructed or remodeled facilities or a $90 Plan Review fee for Changes in ownership.
For additional technical information, consider reviewing the NCDENR Division of Environmental Health Services guidance document, Guidelines for the Design, Installation and Construction of Food Service Establishments in North Carolina.
A permit will only be issued when the facility satisfies all of the requirements of the Rules Governing the Sanitation of Food Service Establishments. An evaluation by Environmental Health does not cover any regulations for other jurisdictions such as Planning & Zoning, Building Inspections or the Fire Marshall.
PURCHASING AN EXISTING FOOD SERVICE ESTABLISHMENT
When purchasing an existing facility, the new owner must obtain his or her own food service permit, as the permit does not transfer with the sale of an establishment between people or locations. A Health Permit is separate from a Business License or Privilege License. The new owner must obtain a permit from the Rockingham County Department of Environmental Health Food and Lodging Section before preparing and selling food.
PLEASE BE ADVISED that when you purchase an existing facility, you may be required to make construction modifications and equipment replacements as necessary to comply with current requirements. These modifications depend on changes to the menu, extent of renovation and the age of the facility and equipment. Potential modifications to consider include, but are not limited to:
- sink locations
- drain locations
- water heater capacity
- floors, walls & ceilings
- hood ventilation system
PLEASE FACTOR these potential costs and time requirements into your decision BEFORE you purchase an existing food service facility. Rockingham County staff are available to schedule a consultation with you at the facility site to identify requirements prior to you receiving a new food service permit. To obtain a permit, complete the following steps:
Complete and submit the Food Service Plan Review Application
Submit the proposed menu
Submit the facility's floor plan