The Food Safety Program is responsible for permitting and inspecting all retail
food establishments, school kitchens, and temporary food booths operating at fairs
and community events in Snohomish County. The Food Program also reviews plans and
conducts preoperational inspections for new and remodeled food establishments.
The Snohomish Health District Food Safety Program performs plan reviews and preoperational
inspections for new, remodeled and reopening of closed establishments.
These establishments include restaurants, mobile food service, limited grocery,
and food stand concessions. Plan review is the process by which we ensure that your
plans and equipment meet the state and local health requirements before you begin
construction of your project. By communicating with you early in your endeavor,
we hope to prevent costly mistakes, while ensuring that your food service establishment
is built in compliance with the minimum standards.
What is a Plan Review?
Plan review is the process by which we ensure that your plans and equipment meet
the state and local health requirements before you begin construction of your project.
By communicating with you early in your endeavor, we hope to prevent costly mistakes,
while ensuring that your food service establishment is built in compliance with
the minimum standards and in the best interest of the public's health.
Plan Review Information and Guidelines
Snohomish Health District has informational plan review packets for food establishments.
Please use the link below for the Food Service Establishment Plan Review Guidelines.
To obtain plan review guidelines for a mobile food service, limited grocery, and
or food stand concession please contact the Health District Food Section as 425.339.5250.
For plan review questions please contact 425.339.5250 and ask for the Food Establishment
Plan Reviewer. You may also contact a Plan Reviewer by email at
Applications for Plan Review
Checklist for Plan Reviews
The plan review has been approved and now you have started construction. After construction
is completed, you may contact the Environmental Health Division for a pre-operation
inspection. The pre-operation inspection allows the food inspectors to verify that
the construction of the establishment is what was approved on the plan review. This
inspection also ensures that all equipment is in place and working properly, that
correct drains are used, etc. However, being "ready" for a pre-operation inspection
does not mean a partially constructed facility.
- All construction must be complete (i.e. floors, wall, ceiling and indirect drains)
- All equipment is installed and functioning (that means refrigerators are at or below
- Hot water and cold water are plumbed to every sink and functioning
- Hand-wash sinks are fully stocked with soap and paper towels
- Dishwasher or three compartment sink is stocked with sanitizer
- Food worker cards are up to date and visible or easily accessible
Please utilize the checklists above to assure that all requirements have been met
prior to the pre-operation inspection.
Resources for Plan Reviews
Other Necessary Contacts
- Fire Marshal
- Local City Hall for Business License Requirements
- Local Sewer District
After the pre-operation inspection, an annual permit must be purchased. Permits
are valid from January 1 thru December 31, however, new permits issued on or after
the preceding April 1 will be 75% of the total annual permit fee, on or after July
1 will be 50%, and on or after October 1 will be 25%. The permit links are provided
Food establishment operating permits are issued to the current owner. Permits do not automatically transfer to the new owner.
Prior opening the business after and ownership change the new owners must submit an application for change of ownership.
Prior to reopening a closed food establishment an inspection of the establishment is required. This inspection is required prior to approval to reopen the establishment.
List of applications related to Food Establishment.
Snohomish Health District inspects over 900 temporary food booths operating at fairs, festivals
and community events each year within Snohomish County.
Temporary food events include (but are not limited to) booths or trailers at fairs,
parks and carnivals; they also include judged cook-off(s), and food demonstrating.
Temporary food events do require a permit; however, certain foods and beverages
may be exempt from the permit as detailed in the "Exemption from Permit Application"
below. Permit fees are dependent upon the type of food or beverage served, whether
it is considered low risk or high risk and the duration of time it will be served.
Food vendors at temporary events are routinely inspected during hours of operation.
Each operator is responsible to maintain a clean and safe establishment to prevent
the risk of possible illness.
Requirements to Operate at Temporary Food Events
Applications for Temporary Food Events
Application for Exemption from Permit (53.4.1)
To check eligibility for exemption refer to the application below. Be aware, each exempt food or beverage item contains stipulations that must be fully met. After receiving your application, an inspector will review your plan with you. You may be asked to provide additional information. Once the application is approved, NO changes may be made without approval from the Food Program
Application for Temporary Food Service Permit (53.4.1)
All persons, unless eligible for exemption, must apply for a temporary event permit. The application MUST be received by the Environmental Health Division office seven (7) days before the event to avoid a non refundable late fee. Postmark is NOT sufficient. Please read and utilize the requirements to operate at temporary events checklist below to assure compliance with all Snohomish Health District requirements.
Temporary Food Service Product Information Form (53.4.1)
Once the Environmental Health Division has received a permit application and reviewed it, a product information form may be requested by the department. This occurs if there are possible questions or concerns about the food or beverage being sold. If a product information form is requested the form must be RECEIVED in the Environmental Health Division Office seven (7) days before the first day of the vendor operation