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The Food Protection Program reviews and approves construction plans for retail food establishments in King County; such as restaurants, caterers, grocery stores, school cafeterias and mobile food vehicles. The Food Protection Program also reviews applications for farmers markets, temporary food booths as well as feeding programs for the needy.

Important notices for food establishment operators

For food business operators: Use the online services portal for Permanent and Mobile Food Establishment Plan Review applications:

NOTE: This does not apply to new catering operations proposing to use an existing or shared commercial kitchen space.

Public Health — Seattle & King County recognizes that retail food establishments continue to be financially impacted by measures taken to control the spread of novel coronavirus (COVID-19). To address some of the financial challenges faced by establishments and their staff for the new permit cycle that runs from April 1, 2021 to March 31, 2022, Public Health is taking the following steps, effective immediately:

  1. Permit payment extension is offered through May 31: You will not be charged а late fee for annual food establishment permit renewals completed by May 31.
    • You can submit your annual permit application and payment on or before May 31 without incurring any late fees.
    • Renewed permits will remain valid through March 31, 2022.

  2. Permit holders who pay their 2021 permit fees on or before May 31, 2021, are eligible for the below additional options: For either of these options, you will need to provide sufficient documentation of your business closure.
    • А 50% proration of your 2021 permit fee if your business is closed from April 1 through September 30, 2021.
    • А full refund of your permit fees, if the business remains closed for the entire permit cycle (April 1, 2021 through March 31, 2022).

To renew your permit that is due, please go to our online payment portal www.kingcounty.gov/health/portal

If you are а food business owner or а food worker and have questions related to your operation, please reach out to your Health Investigator or call 206-263-9566 to speak with office staff. For the latest information on COVID-19, please visit: www.kingcounty.gov/covid

FOOD ESTABLISHMENT TYPES

Select a type of establishment that best describes your business to learn more about how to obtain a food business permit:


OTHER TYPES OF FOOD ESTABLISHMENTS


KEY RESOURCES

  • Food worker card class and test
    All employees of a food establishment including cooks, bartenders, servers, hosts, bus persons, etc. are required to obtain a Washington State Food Worker Card. You can take the class and test conveniently online or go to any of our in-person classes.

  • Meat cutter license
    If your job requires the cutting of fresh beef, veal, lamb and/or pork within a meat establishment you will need to pass an exam to obtain a personal occupational Meat Cutter license in addition to the Food Worker Card exam.

  • Nutrition labeling requirements for King County chain food establishments
    The King County Board of Health's nutrition labeling regulation requires some chain food restaurants permitted by Public Health - Seattle & King County to provide calorie, saturated fat, carbohydrate and sodium information to customers.

  • Artificial trans fat ban requirements for all King County food establishments
    Artificial trans fat is formed during a chemical process that adds hydrogen to liquid vegetable oils to make them more solid, creating a "partially hydrogenated oil." Even eating small amounts of trans fats increase the risk for coronary heart disease by raising LDL (bad cholesterol) and decreasing HDL (good cholesterol). In King County, food establishments may not use nor sell any product that contains partially hydrogenated oils.