Food Service

How to get licensed

You need a food service license if your business serves food. The specific license(s) you need depend on your business.

  • Eat-in restaurants are licensed by the number seats they have. Food that is take-out, delivered or prepared in a mobile truck also need this license.
  • Caterers or anyone who prepares food one place and serves it in another needs a caterer/commissary license.
  • Businesses with soft-serve ice cream machines need a frozen dessert license.
  • Food sold in a vending machine requires vending machine license.
  • Temporary food services need a temporary license.

Food Safety Managers

No matter what your business if you prepare food that can spoil, and is therefore potentially hazardous, food you must employ at least one full-time on-site food safety manager. If you employ ten or more full-time equivalent people to prepare food you need at two food safety managers. Establishments who primarily serve the elderly or people individuals with diminished immune systems must have a food safety manager certified in food safety present whenever hot, potentially hazardous, food is prepared. The certificates for the food safety managers must be prominently posted next to the license to operate. (Certificates must be removed if the person longer works there.)

Food Trucks

After you submit your Food Mobile Service application call us at 401-222-2749 to schedule your required inspection. You will need to schedule at least to weeks for the inspection, and cannot open your business until you pass.

Moving Locations

If your restaurant moves to a new location you need to reapply for a license.

Continuing Education/Training

Make sure all Food Safety Managers fulfill their training requirements.

Recommended Best Practices

Food Safety

All businesses that serve food are expected and required to keep that food safe. These businesses are diverse and include: restaurants, caterers, retail food establishments, cafeteria, healthcare and residential facilities. Though the licensing requirements vary all business must ensure that:

  • Hot foods are kept hot;
  • Cold foods are kept cold;
  • Food equipment, particularly meat slicers, are kept clean;
  • Food handlers practice good hygiene;
  • Food handlers that have symptoms of norovirus must stay home from work until symptoms have stopped for at least two days more;
  • Food Safety Managers are trained, hired and retained as required; more
  • Food-related illnesses are reported to the Health Department.