Guidances, Recommendations

Policy, Protocols, Requirements


Indoor Sign
  • It is Illegal to Smoke or Vape in this Establishment - cardstock (English) (Spanish)


Web Pages

Food Processor

Licensing-Related Information

In conjunction with RIDOH, CommerceRI and the Department of Business Regulation have created a general overview and road map of how to navigate entrance into the restaurant industry, including guiding users through obtaining necessary local and state permits and licenses.  Access the information at 'How to Open a Restaurant in Rhode Island'.

You need a Food Processing license if your business manufactures, packages, labels, or stores food to sell to distribute to other businesses.The specific license(s) you need depends on what your business makes and how it makes it. In addition to the applications listed on this page you may need Shellfish License if you handle clams or other mollusks or a Dairy License if sell milk or ice cream. Contact us if you have any questions about the license process.

Home Cooking or Baking

Foods produced in a residential kitchen and sold to the public are called “cottage foods.” Cottage Food Manufactures must apply to be registered with RIDOH. The residential kitchen used to prepare the food must meet certain requirements.


If you are selling directly to consumers a Juice HACCP program and pastuerization is recommended for safety. If this is not done,you must label the juice with a warning about the pathogen risk. more


A variance is needed for certain food processes including:

  • Smoking, dehydrating, acidifying, or otherwise preserving food.
  • Reduced oxygen packaging - except when vaccuum packing a raw product, a food with a pH less than 4.6, a food with water activity less than .91 or a meat/poultry product cured in a commercial establishment, or using a cook-chill, sous-vide process.
  • Any activity that is not allowed by the Food Code.


All variance requests and cook-chill, sous vide processes must be supported by a Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HAACP) plan.

Food Business Applications that Involve On-Site Drinking Water Wells and/or On-Site Wastewater Treatment Systems

This pre-application should be completed by applicants who want to start a business that is not serviced by a municipal water system and/or a public sewer system. Staff from the Rhode Island Department of Health (RIDOH) or Department of Environmental Management (DEM) will contact you to provide further guidance regarding what steps may be necessary to get your business approved. The purpose of this pre-application is to provide general guidance about the scope of your project and the requirements under current regulations and laws.