Requirements to operate a food service establishment
Any place where food intended for public consumption is sold, offered for sale, supplied, handled, prepared, packaged, displayed, served, processed, stored, transported or dispensed. This includes restaurants, mobiles, food stores, food manufacturing/processing, etc.
Note: Preparation of foods for the public must be done in an approved kitchen. Home kitchens are generally not allowed. Some exceptions apply, contact your local Environmental Health Officer for further details.
To apply for approval or a permit follow the steps below.
Step 1: Review the information in The Guide – Applying for Food Premises Approval. The Guide will help you determine what documentation you need to provide with your application. For information specific to Mobile Units also review Mobile Food Vending Cart Guidelines.
Step 2: Follow the process provided in The Guide and submit completed forms and documents to your local Health Protection office. For your convenience forms and documents can be accessed below.
Step 3: Once these documents are submitted, reviewed and approved, the Environmental Health Officer will conduct an inspection prior to opening to ensure the facility was constructed and functional in accordance with the Food Premises Regulation and the previously approved plans.
Additional resources can be found under Food Safety Resources.
Temporary food service
Any place that prepares food for immediate consumption at temporary locations, events, or markets for 14 or less days per year.
To apply for a permit follow the steps below:
Step 1: Review the Temporary Food Services Guidelines to determine whether you are applying for a Lower Risk or Higher Risk permit. Note: some foods are Permit Exempt.
Step 2: Submit your information to the local Health Protection office at least 14 days prior to your event. Application received with less than 14 days notice may not be processed.
Step 3: Once these documents are submitted, reviewed and approved, a Permit to Operate will be issued.
Approval is required to sell higher risk pre-packaged food not meant for immediate consumption, shell eggs, and/or frozen raw food of animal origin (meats, poultry or fish) at temporary locations such as Farmer’s Markets.
Food intended for immediate consumption at a Market requires application for a Temporary Food Service (see above).
To apply for approval follow the steps below:
Step 1: Review Guideline for the Sale of Foods at Temporary Food Markets to determine if you are selling Higher Risk food and require Approval. Lower Risk home prepared foods can be sold and do not need authorization from an Environmental Health Officer. A list of Higher Risk and Lower Risk foods can be found in the Guideline.
Step 2: For Higher Risk Food submit the application and all required information (listed on application) to your local Health Protection office.
Step 3: Once these documents are submitted, reviewed and approved, a Letter of Confirmation will be issued.
Meat processing facilities and slaughter establishments
Approval is required for any facility that process carcasses or manufactures meat products such as sausage, hams, bacon, jerky, salami, pepperoni, or other cured, smoked, dried or fermented products.
To apply for approval follow the steps below:
Step 1: Review Meat Processing - Facility Approvals Handout
Step 2: Review the information in The Guide – Applying for Food Premises Approval. Follow the process provided in The Guide and submit completed forms and documents to Interior Health’s Meat Inspection Team or toll-free: 1-855-744-MEAT (6328).
Sales at markets fill out the application in the Guideline for the Sale of Foods at Temporary Food Markets and submit to the Meat Inspection Team.
Note: effective March 2016, all processors will require a written food safety plan and sanitation plan. Contact the Meat Inspection Team for more details.
Licencing is required for Slaughter Establishments.
Class A or B Slaughter Establishments (provincially licenced) require a licence from the Ministry of Agriculture
Class D or E (on farm Slaughter Establishments) require a licence from Interior Health. These establishments are restricted to specific areas. Class E Slaughter Establishments may need to submit a feasibility study to Ministry of Agriculture before proceeding with the application process. See the Ministry of Agriculture site for more detailed information.
To apply for a licence, follow the steps below:
Step 1: Determine the scale of operation you wish to operate. More information on Class types is available on the Ministry of Agriculture website.
Step 2: Apply for a licence.
SlaughterSafe training is required to obtain a licence Class D or E licence. Training is available from Interior Health’s Meat Inspection Team. Please contact for course dates.