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Business & Community Groups

Food Service

Inside a microbrewery with brown leather booths and orange upholstered bar stools up at the counter.

Food Service

The Environmental Health Division licenses and inspects over 1000 food service establishments within the ten (10) county district. Click on any of the main links below to learn more about the Department’s activities.

Food Service Establishment Licenses

When food is prepared or served to the public, licensing is normally required by the Michigan Food Law of 2000, as amended. The licensing requirements do not distinguish between paid, free will offering and free food. Click on the link to find out more about the four main types of food service licenses available: Fixed, Mobile, Mobile Commissary and Special Transitory Food Unit (STFU).

Festivals and Other Special Outdoor Events Require Temporary Food Service Licensing

The district has many festivals and outdoor events where groups, individuals, associations and others want to serve food to the public. This can be accomplished by applying for a temporary food establishment permit. If you operate a food service establishment and you want to assemble or prepare foods outside or away from your licensed restaurant, you will need a temporary food license. Click on the link above to find out more about the three types of food service licenses available – temporary food establishment, mobile food carts and special transitory food unit (STFU). Here is a guide for Temporary Food Establishment Food & Safety Licensing.

Plan Review

If you are thinking about opening a food service establishment (build or conversion) or remodeling an existing establishment, you must go through the Department’s food service plan review process. Click on the link which will provide you with instructions on what the plan review process entails.

File a Restaurant Complaint

DHD#10 investigates complaints for the food service establishments we license. Non-illness complaints about food service establishments can be submitted to any of our offices. Click on the link to find out more information.

Reporting a Foodborne Illness (food poisoning)

If you believe you have gotten sick from eating food at a restaurant or grocery store in the District, please call the DHD#10 office. You will be connected with the food program sanitarian or the public health nurse. Please note office hours are typically 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday.

DHD#10 conducts investigations of reported illness connected with a licensed food service establishment in the district. Common foodborne illness symptoms consist of nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and on average can last 24 to 48 hours. Click on the link to find out further information.

Certified Manager in Food Safety Training

The Michigan Food Law requires all food service establishments to have at least one manager certified in food safety. Managers with the ServSafe Food Protection Manager Certification meet this requirement. ServSafe, Prometric or the National Registry of Food Safety Professionals certifications are all acceptable forms of certification. (The following types of establishments are exempt from having a certified manager: Mobile Food and temporary events).

To be certified you must pass an ANSI/CFP nationally accredited exam once every 5 years. To prepare for the exam, most individuals take a class (in person or on-line) or self-study.  Exams are proctored and must be taken either at an approved testing site or are given at the end of a course by an approved instructor.

DHD#10 offers a certified manager training using the ServSafe curriculum. This is a one-day self-study class. The class includes a review of material and exam for the ServSafe manager credential. Classes are provided in Ludington, Cadillac, or Big Rapids the 2nd Tuesday of every month. Call 231-775-9942, then press 0 for operator, to register for an upcoming training.  Click here for a schedule of classes. Click here to download our brochure (Spanish).

Allergen Awareness Information

Click the link to learn more about Food Allergies.

Food Safety Resource Library

Click the link above for access to some great educational tools for restaurant owners and staff.

Quick Links and Other Resources

Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD)
Michigan Modified Food Code
Michigan Food Law of 2000
Food Safety Basics
Food and Drug Administration
United States Department of Agriculture (USDA)
USDA, Food Safety and Inspection Service
National Sanitation Foundation (NSF)
Michigan Restaurant and Lodging Association
National Restaurant Association
FDA-Eating Outdoors: Handling Food Safety
MDHHS Eat Safe Fish Guides

Forms and Applications

Food Service License Application
2024 Fee Schedule