Serving food to the public in Clark County requires a health permit issued by the Environmental Public Health Department. To obtain a Health Permit, a one-time Plan Review application and fee is first required and must be submitted to the Health Department for review and approval. After the plans are approved by a health inspector, a Health Permit will be released for purchase and must be renewed annually. Single-event temporary health permits have a single fee and application for the plan review and the permit. For more information, visit our Farmers market and temporary events frequently asked questions page.
Building Departments often have requirements applicable to food businesses. Contact the building department for the jurisdiction of your operation to understand if other permits are needed.
Food at Events
If you will be selling, serving, preparing or sampling foods at public events by setting up a temporary concession stand or booth with portable cooking equipment and hand wash stations then you will need a health permit. Use these links for information on requirements, applying and paying for a temporary health permit in Clark County.
- Single-Event: Temporary food service at a single coordinated event for up to 21 days at a fixed location.
- Multi-Event: Temporary food service permit to serve food at a Farmer's Markets or multiple coordinated events throughout the year.
- Exempt from Permit and Not a Food Establishment: Information for vending certain foods at temporary events that don't require a fee; notification is necessary.
Opening a permanent food establishment
Annual health permits are required to operate a food service establishment in Clark County. Before a new health permit can be issued, a plan review must be conducted to ensure compliance with the Washington State Food Code. Use these links for specific requirements, applying and paying for a plan review and permits for various types of annual food service establishments. Plan review is required for ownership changes and new food operations. Be aware, health permits are non-transferable and non-refundable. Use these links to get started with your new business.
Due to high volume, allow 3 weeks from complete plan submittal to receive initial comments from the plan reviewer. Full completion of a plan review often takes 6-8 weeks.
- Food service establishment (all levels): New or remodeled restaurant, change of ownership, deli or grocery store, coffee and espresso kiosks, tasting rooms, travelers' accommodations, caterers etc.
- Mobile food service establishment: Mobile food vending trucks, carts or other non-stationary establishments that have plumbed sinks with fresh and gray water holding tanks and hot water serving any type of food.
Renew an annual permit
Health permits are valid for one year from the date of purchase and must be renewed before they expire. Renewal applications and invoices are mailed out to current permit holders 30 days prior to their expiration date and must be completely filled out and returned with a full payment and the original invoice to be processed. Below you will find supplemental forms for mobile, seasonal and annual itinerant health permit renewals.
- Report a public health concern
- Plan Review Process Summary
- Location, Hours and Contact
- Food Worker Card and Certified Food Protection Manager - requirements and testing information
- Washington State Retail Food Code
- Smoking in public places law, RCW 70.160
- Cottage food operations laws -Washington State Department of Agriculture (WSDA)