Skip to main content
King County logo
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.

2021-2022 Permit Fee Extension for Retail Food Establishments Renewals

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

  • 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:

Copy of letter sent to food establishment operators who have not paid for permits

Dear Food Establishment Owner/Operator:

You are receiving this letter because you have not paid your current operating Public Health Permit for your food business for permit cycle 2020-2021. Your permit payment was due on March 31st, 2020. Your continued operation without а valid Public Health permit is in violation of Title 5 of the King County Board of Health Code (The King County Food Code).

We understand that your business may have been financially impacted with measures taken to control the spread of COVID-19. We had extended the permit due dates several times in order to relieve the financial burden on your business; however, you have continued to operate without renewing your Public Health permit.

The unpaid permit cycle is coming to an end on March 31, 2021. If you раy your past due permit fees and any late fees for 2020-2021 before March 31st, 2021, and bring your facility into current permit compliance, you will bе afforded the additional relief measures being provided for the upcoming permit cycle (2021-2022). However, if your past due permit fees are not paid before March 31st, 2021, you will not bе afforded the 60 days extension of the permit due date for the upcoming 2021-2022 permit cycle. Failure to renew your permit by March 31st, 2021 will result in incremental increases of late fees and subject you to additional enforcement measures.

Tо renew your permit that is past due, please go to our online payment portal . For additional information, please call 206-477-8050 or 206-263-9566.

Thank you
Public Health — Seattle & King County
Division of Environmental Health
Food and Facilities Section


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



  • 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.