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Restaurants, grocery stores, gas stations and all other stores that produce and sell food items are licensed and inspected by Environmental Health Specialists.  These inspections focus on the prevention of foodborne illness by ensuring that food is from an approved source, foods are safely and properly stored, prepared, and served, establishments and equipment are clean and food employees are practicing good personal hygiene which aligns with the CDC risk factors.

Every establishment is different based on the menu, equipment and processing of foods and beverages.

All food establishments are required to adhere to the Ohio Uniform Food Safety Code.


Food Service Operation (FSO)

A place, location, site, or separate area where food intended to be served in individual portions is prepared or served for a charge.

Examples: Restaurants, Fast Food Establishments, Bars, Catering facilities, Daycares, Hospitals, Nursing Homes, etc.

Retail Food Establishment (RFE)

A premise or part of a premise where food is stored, processed, prepared, manufactured, or otherwise held or handled for retail sale.

Examples: Grocery Stores, Gas Stations, Bulk Food Stores, Convenience Stores, Pizza Establishments, etc.


For a new operation, fill out our Plan Review Application to get started.

Be advised, Sandusky County Public Health has 30 days to review a completed set of plans from the date it was received to us.

Temporary Foods

Temporary food service operations (FSO’s) and retail food establishments (RFE’s) is the short-term preparation and sale of food at a local fair, festival, or any other type of gathering.  This type of food license is only valid for 5 consecutive days at the same location.  An owner is only permitted to acquire 10 temporary permits in one licensing year. 

Temporary facilities must be self-sufficient and are subject to the same rules and regulations as brick-and-mortar facilities.  Any foods that are from an unapproved source will be subject to embargo or voluntary discarding by the owner with no refunds.

All temporary plan review packets must be submitted 10 days prior to the start of the event. For the requirements, ​

click here.


Click here for the application: Temporary Foods Application

Mobile Foods

A mobile food service operation (FSO) or mobile retail food establishment (RFE) is one that is operated from a movable vehicle, portable structure, or watercraft and routinely changes location. Mobile FSOs and RFEs include those that do not remain in any one location for more than 40 days. Mobile licenses are renewed annually and expire on March 1st of every year.  Applications for mobile food licenses should be submitted to the licensor for the health district in which the applicant's business headquarters are located, or if the headquarters are located outside the state, to the licensor for the district where the applicant will first operate in Ohio. 


For the Mobile Food Requirements, click here.

Cottage Foods

Cottage food production is regulated by the Ohio Department of Agriculture. For more information on producing and selling a cottage food please click here.

Updated on 6/21/24

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