Selling Food in Sacramento County

​Thinking of opening a restaurant or retail food facility in Sacramento County? Below are some of the steps you will need to follow.

Please note: For wholesale food manufacturing and sales, please contact the California Department of Public Health, Food and Drug Branch.

Contact EMD

A health permit is required when food is given or sold to the public.  This includes pre-packaged and/or cooked foods.  If you are thinking of opening a food related business, please contact one of our desk duty specialists who are available Monday-Friday from 8-10am at (916) 875-8440 to discuss your plans. 

The Specialist should be able to answer most of your questions and give you an idea of what type of plan review and application process will be required.

PLEASE NOTE: Food may not be prepared, stored, or sold from a private home unless permitted as a Cottage Food Operation. Please see the Cottage Food Operation (CFO) page for more information, including restrictions on the types of foods that can be prepared at home.

Submit Plans for Review

Plans and specifications need to be submitted to the department before construction or operation if:

  • Construction of an establishment is proposed;
  • Conversion of an existing structure is proposed for use as an establishment; Changes to the types of food, methods of food preparation, or style of service are proposed;
  • New equipment, flooring or finishes will be installed;
  • Old equipment will be removed or replaced;
  • Remodeling of an existing establishment is proposed; or
  • A food establishment has not been previously permitted by the program.

See the EMD Plan Review page for details on the plan review process.

Apply for a Permit​

Once your plans have been approved or it has been established that a plan review will not be needed, an Application for Health Permit must be completed, submitted and fees paid. 

Food preparation facilities are also required to pay a Stormwater Permit fee along with the annual health permit fee.  For more information on the Stormwater program please see the EMD Stormwater page.

To apply for a permit or find out more information, please contact EMD at (916) 875-8440.

Change of Ownership​

When a facility changes ownership, but no changes are made to the facility and/or scope of operation, the new owner is required to submit an​​ application and pay fees for the new health permit prior to assuming ownership. 

Applications and fees are generally submitted in person. 

For details, please contact EMD at (916) 875-8440.