Food Service Sanitation

OverviewThe purpose of the Food Service Sanitation program is to protect the public from food-borne diseases and hazards in food prepared at restaurants, bars, mobile food vendors, temporary food events, or anywhere food is served to the public.

Regular inspections at these establishments are conducted by Environmental Health Specialists to ensure food served to the public comes from an approved source and is appropriately stored, prepared, cooked and/or cooled, and served to prevent growth of disease-causing organisms.

If food is prepared and served to the public, a license is generally needed even if the food is free or offered for a donation. Check with Environmental Health, (906)786-9692, to see if your event would require a license.

When a food-borne illness involving two or more people who do not reside in the same household occurs, Environmental Health conducts an investigation in an attempt to identify the source of the outbreak. These lessons help individuals and establishments develop better practices in order to avoid future illnesses.

Safe Food EventsMost people know that a successful food event is a safe food event. Few people realize that preparing and serving food can be dangerous. Food poisoning resulting from improperly prepared food is often easy to prevent. Approximately 48 million people are affected by food borne illnesses each year in the United States, resulting in approximately 128,000 hospitalizations and 3,000 deaths. Common symptoms of food borne illness include diarrhea, vomiting, nausea, abdominal pain, fever, and other "flu-like" symptoms. This is why the Michigan Food Law requires a license and an inspection prior to serving food to the public, even if there is no charge for the food. Reduce the risk of getting sick by checking to see that a license is posted before eating at the next food event.

Anyone organizing a food event at a festival, community fundraiser, or other special event is required to contact Public Health, Delta & Menominee Counties to see if a Temporary Food License is required. Event organizers will be advised to use key food safety principles to reduce the potential for a food borne illness. All food events and Food Service Establishments are required to follow the Michigan Modified Food Code and the Michigan Food Law. Contact PHDM to learn how to make your food event a safe and successful one.


Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
When does someone need a license to provide/sell food?

In most cases, anytime food is offered to the general public, a food service license will be required. Is a food license needed if we are just giving away food for free as part of our event?

Even for business events, such as customer appreciation days where food is given away for free, a food service license would still be required. How can I tell if an event has a food service license and is allowed to serve food?
If someone is providing food to the public, they are required to post their food service license. A fixed food service license should be posted in an area of the restaurant visible to the public. For temporary food events, a 8.5" x 11" sheet of pink paper that is signed by the health department shall be posted.How can I get a food service license for my event?
Contact PHDM at least one week prior to the event to fill out a license application form. Late fees may be applied if applying less than one week from the event.How can I get myself or someone certified as a Certified Food Safety Manager?
PHDM offers a Certified Food Safety Manager course at least once per year. You may call (906) 786-9692 to put you name on a wait list and PHDM will call when the course is scheduled. Also, there are other organizations that offer Certified Food Safety Manager classes (and even online now as well!). See the course flyer in the files section below.What do I need to do to open my own restaurant or food truck?
If you are planning on opening up a restaurant or food truck that has been previously licensed as a food service establishment, contact PHDM to schedule a walk through inspection to discuss your options. If you are creating your own restaurant or food truck somewhere that has not been licensed as a food service establishment, then download our Plan Review Application, Manual, and Worksheet in our Applications and Forms section. A completed Application and Worksheet will need to be turned into PHDM and approved before construction may beginFood-borne Illness Complaints
If you have become ill after eating at a Delta County or Menominee County Food Service Establishment, please fill out the following complaint form. 

*Note: Please fill out all information on the form as complete as possible. A separate form submittal will be needed for each individual that became ill.*

Applications and Forms
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Applications and Forms14 documents

  • 2023-24 Food Service Fees
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  • Guidance for the Temporary Food Service License Application
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  • Temporary Food Service License
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  • Fixed Facility Food License Application
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  • Food Service Plan Review Manual
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  • Food Service Plan Review Worksheet
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  • Food Service Plan Review Application
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  • Food Service Plan Review Pre-Open Checklist
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  • Food Service Plan Review Food Establishment Plan Submission Instructions
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  • Food Service Plan Review Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) Manual
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  • Special Transitory Food Unit - Notice of Intent to Operate Form
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  • Special Transitory Food Unit - Mobile Plan Review and SOP Worksheet
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  • Special Transitory Food Unit - Mobile Plan Review Application
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  • Food Safety Manager Certification
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