Below are answers to some frequently asked questions on plan reviews.
What is plan review and what is its purpose?
Plan review is a detailed analysis or a potential operator’s proposal(s) for a food operation. The purpose of this review is to “engineer-out” any surprises or dysfunctions in construction or procedures of the operation. See the Plan Review Guidance How to Open a Food Establishment document.
When are plans required?
The only fail-proof way to determine whether plan review is required, is to contact your local health department, but the Michigan Food Code states that plans should be submitted, reviewed and approved before the construction of a food establishment, the conversion of an existing structure for use as a food establishment, or the remodeling or change of type of food establishment or food operation.
Why do I need a plan review?
Food establishment plan review is recognized as an important food program component that allows regulatory agencies to ensure that food establishments are built or renovated according to current regulations or rules; plan review allows industry to establish an organized and efficient flow of food; and plan review allows regulatory agencies to eliminate code violations prior to construction or operation.
I’m buying, building or converting a restaurant. What do I do?
Contact your local health department as soon as possible. What steps are necessary are highly dependent upon what your intentions are after purchase. See Change of Ownership form.
I own a restaurant and want to make some changes. What do I do?
This is very specific to your individual situation, contact your local environmental health sanitarian (food inspector) before starting any remodeling or making any changes to determine your next steps.
Can I make or draw my own floor plan, or do I need an architect or designer?
You can draw your own layout, but the submitted diagram is required to be drawn to scale, including a key stating the measurements (example-use graph paper, 1 foot per square. State on plan “1 square=1 foot”).
Who can help me complete the plan review?
If you are unsure how to complete the requirements of the plan review application process, you should consult with a firm that specializes in plan review before submission of your application. Hiring an experienced consultant can help decrease frustration and prevent delays in the approval process. Contact the county food sanitarian for a list of plan review consultants. Besides hiring qualified help, accurate responses to questions and completion of the plan review application and worksheet helps to keep the plan review process moving.
What documents are required to be submitted for a complete plan review?
Refer to the Materials to Submit for Food Establishment Process document and the Plan Review checklist.
How much does plan review cost?
Click here for the most current DHD#10 fee schedule.
How long does plan review take?
This is highly dependent upon how complete your paperwork is when you turn it in. Michigan Food Law allows 30 business days to review submitted materials and responds back in writing. Each time new materials are submitted, it may take up to 30 days for you to receive a written response.
What is needed if there is a change of ownership?
Before the change of ownership takes place, complete and submit the Change of Ownership form. A determination will be made once this information is received on whether a plan review will be necessary.