Food Rules & Regulations

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A food permit from the Snohomish Health District ensures that your business complies with the local Sanitary Code and the state Retail Food Code. However, you may need to get additional permits from us or be required to comply with other government permit requirements.

Special Food Permits

  • Catering: a special endorsement on your food permit is required to offer off-site food catering services.
  • Temporary food booth: established businesses still need special permits to operate at temporary events, such as selling food at a festival.
  • New menu or new owners: substantial changes to your food business require an update to your food permit.
  • If your restaurant or business will be in a new building, you need to confirm access to safe sewer and water.

State Food Rules

Washington State Department of Agriculture (WSDA) regulates the following activities:

  • Cottage food production: the Washington Cottage Food Operations Law allows people to make low-risk food in their home kitchens and sell directly to consumers. Gross sales of cottage food products may not exceed $25,000 annually.
  • Meat or dairy food production: if you process, manufacture, store or handle any food or dairy products for wholesale or retail distribution, or if you custom slaughter or custom cut meat, you need to contact the Washington State Department of Agriculture Food Safety Program, for licensing and/or inspection information.

If you want to sell beer, wine or hard alcohol, you need to contact the Washington State Liquor Control Board.

  • Liquor license: liquor license is an endorsement on your business License issued by the Washington State Department of Revenue.

State Business Contacts

Local Contacts