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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.

Second permit fee extension for
retail food establishments

Public Health – Seattle & King County recognizes that retail food service establishments continue to be financially impacted by measures to control the spread of COVID-19. To relieve some of the financial strain faced by business owners and their employees, we are extending the annual operating permit fee due date by an additional 45 days beyond the previous 60-day extension we had implemented to the original due date of March 31, 2020.

  • The new operating permit due date will be July 15, 2020.
  • Through July 15, 2020, you will not be charged a late fee for your annual food establishment permit renewals.
    • You can submit your annual permit application on or before July 15, 2020 without incurring any late fees.
  • Renewed permits will remain valid through March 31, 2021.

If you are a food business owner or a 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.


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


Preparation for reopening restaurants with introduction to Phase II requirements

On May 20, 2020, Public Health – Seattle & King County hosted a webinar in collaboration with the City of Seattle and the Washington Hospitality Association, outlining guidance for reopening restaurants and how to prepare for Phase II of the Safe Start approach to reopening.

Presenters provide guidance for preparing equipment and buildings for opening, ensuring employee and customer health and safety, how to implement Safe Start requirements, and more.

Minimize the spread of COVID-19
in retail food establishments

CBDs (cannabidiol) in food and beverages

Recently there has been interest from food establishment operators in selling food and beverage products with industrial hemp and its derivatives such as cannabidiol, more commonly known as CBD. Federal and State laws do not permit the manufacture and retail sales of CBD as a food ingredient in foods and beverages for sale in retail food establishments.

Therefore, in King County, the addition of CBD to food and beverages is prohibited until further guidance and approval by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, Washington State Department of Agriculture, and Washington Department of Health.

This means that operators may not add CBD to food or beverages, nor may they obtain products containing CBD for resale in any retail food establishment in King County, including restaurants, coffee shops, cafeterias, grocery stores, or at temporary food events and farmers markets.

There are also regulations related to the manufacturing for wholesale and/or interstate shipping of food and beverage products containing CBD. This is regulated in Washington state by the Washington State Department of Agriculture.

Learn more.


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