City of Cleveland - Department of Public Health
The Food Safety Program makes sure that all food sold in the City of Cleveland is safe to eat or drink by inspecting and licensing restaurants, vending machines, food trucks, Farmers Markets, grocery stores and corner stores. Our sanitarians are dedicated to working with the food service community to uphold all food safety rules and regulations and are deeply committed to educating operators in food safety and proper food handling techniques.
The Food Safety program offers education, evaluation, and regulation of the following:
Renew or Apply for a Food Safety License
- Food Service Operations
- Food Service Vending Machine Locations
- Food Trucks
- Mobile Food Service and Retail Operations
- Retail Food Establishments
- Temporary Food Service and Temporary Retail Operations
- Micro Markets (Please review the following Fact Sheet for additional
Anyone who serves or sells food to the public needs a license and must either apply for a
new license or renew an existing one.
Mobile Food Service Operation Planning Application,
Temporary Food Event Permit Application,
NOTE: Applications must be received at least 10 days in advance of temporary events.
From February 1st to March 1st, every operator of a food service operation that wishes to operate during any part of the year
must apply for a
Anyone that wants to renew a license must submit an application no later than March 1st, except in the case of a mobile or seasonal retail food
establishment. The renewal application must be submitted before food can be served or sold. Anyone may renew a license before March 1st or the first day of a
new licensing period, but cannot before February 1st.
For more information on licensing fees, Click Here!
License renewal applications received after the March 1st deadline will be assessed a late fee penalty. Our office mails license renewal
applications as a courtesy to licensees but is not required to do so. It is the sole responsibility of the operator to ensure that his/her license is renewed
prior to the expiration date.
Request a Food Facility Layout Review packet for a New Food Business
- Have an existing operation and you are not sure about your fee?
| ||(216) 664-
- Trying to open a new restaurant?
| ||(216) 664-4769
- Trying to get a Temporary Food Service License?
| ||(216) 664-
New food businesses must submit blueprints and proposals to ensure new or remodeled food establishments comply with food safety regulations. Your project may
not need everything that is listed, but please include as much information as possible.
Click here for the online packet
Drawings are required and must be drawn to scale. Please submit 4 sets if you are altering an existing establishment and 6 sets if you are building a new establishment. Drawings should include:
- An index of the drawings and a legend for any symbols used on the cover sheet
- Name of the author of the drawings and the stamp of the architect or engineer, if required
- Plot or Site Plan showing the street location, size of lot, location of all structures, location of parking lots with a layout and the location of utility services
- Floor Plans of all levels with dimensions, room names, door and window sizes, and fire resistant construction. All new and existing structures and any walls to be removed should be shown differently
- Elevations of all affected areas with floor to floor heights
- Cross sections of the building, cross sections of walls, and details describing materials used in floors, walls and ceilings such as the construction materials and material sizes to describe the general intent of the work
- Structural plans or notations indicating compliance with code design loads
- Mechanical and electrical systems drawings or notations showing compliance with code requirements such as the Ohio Energy Code and others
A completed packet is required for your plans to be reviewed. In addition to the above requirements, the Division of Environment also requires that you to submit a menu.
Food Safety Education
Please see the attached 2021 ServSafe Course and Testing dates we are offering: Registration Flyer, Click Here!
The Food Protection Unit provides trainings including the following:
ServSafe® Essentials Course: This is the nationally recognized training program developed by the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation. This course is designed to educate foodservice operators in food safety, safe food handling practices, food borne illness prevention, and all related areas to ensure a safe and productive operation.
Attendees who attend the course and pass the test will have their information forwarded to the Ohio Department of Health to be certified as Level 2 Food Safety Managers.
The P.I.C. class is designed to introduce and prepare all attendees with a broad perspective of properly operating a safe and productive operation. The State of Ohio mandates that all retail food service operations and retail food establishments must have a Person-In-Charge (P.I.C.) during all hours of operation. The person-in-charge must have a working knowledge of food safety, food borne illness recognition and prevention, employee exclusions and restrictions, as well as accompany public health sanitarians during inspections. Attendees receive a certificate of attendance after completing the course (approximately 2-3 contact hours).
The Cleveland Department of Public Health may also design classes and presentations specific to your operational requirements. For more information, please call (216) 664-4491
Food Safety in an Emergency
Practicing safe food-handling is an important part of everyday life, but is especially important in emergency situations such as a flood, tornado, fire, water interruption or power outage. Be sure to carefully inspect all food items and do not eat any food you think may not be safe. Spoiled food may not look contaminated. Remember, when in doubt, throw it out.
For additional information please see the Ohio Department of Health factsheets (printable versions) and links to other helpful websites, Click Here!
Food Safety Complaints
Please call (216) 664-4491
to file a complaint if you believe that a Cleveland restaurant served you food that:
Dogs in Dining Areas
- Caused you or a family member to get sick
- Was prepared, handled or stored in unclean conditions
- Broke food safety laws in some other way
Effective October 29, 2018, owners of food service operations (FSO) and retail food establishments (RFE) may allow dogs in outdoor dining areas. The new law, which amended Ohio Revised Code (ORC) 3717, states that the Directors of Health and Agriculture shall adopt rules for dogs in outdoor dining areas. Until the rules are finalized, any FSO or RFE that wishes to allow dogs in the outdoor dining area must comply with the following standards:
- Adopt and enforce a policy that requires patrons to control their dogs while in the outdoor dining area.
- Dogs may not enter the outdoor dining area through the interior of an FSO or RFE.
- Comply with all sanitation standards in the Ohio Uniform Food Safety Code including, but not limited to, cleanliness and maintenance of the outdoor dining area; hand washing; handling and storage of food, equipment and utensils; washing and sanitizing of equipment and utensils.
- All dogs entering an outdoor dining area must be properly vaccinated as required by state and local laws.
- Service animals are permitted to enter Food Service Operations and Retail Food Establishments as specified in OAC 3717-1-06.4 (O).