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:
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.
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 license.
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 Plan Review for a New Food Business
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 online permit forms
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:
Food Safety Education
Please see the attached 2019 ServSafe Course and Testing dates we are offering: Registration Flyer, Click Here!
The Food Protection Unit provides trainings including the following:
ServSafeŽ 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 Cleveland Department of Public Health may also design classes and presentations specific to your operational requirements. For more information, please call (216) 664-4925.
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) 664-4925 to file a complaint if you believe that a Cleveland restaurant served you food that:
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: