Retail Food Establishment Permit Prerequisites
If you are opening a new retail foodservice establishment or planning to extensively remodel you must have your proposed construction plans and menu approved prior to issuance of a food permit to ensure appropriate equipment and procedures are in place.
Retail food establishment plan review and application requirements.
Plan review and equipment requirements if your retail food establishment is a mobile food unit or pushcart.
Additional plan review inspection fees may apply. If an expedited plan review is needed, please contact our office.
Please note that operating without a permit and operating without the benefit of plan review will incur an additional fee equal to 100% of the permitting fee for the establishment
Transfer of Ownership
If you have purchased an existing retail food establishment you must contact the Porter County Health Department Food Service Division at 219-465-3525, in order to obtain a new food permit for your business. Food permits are non-transferable. Changes in ownership may require upgrades prior to the issuance of a food permit.
Certified Food Handler
A copy of your establishment's Certified Food Handler certificate must be included with the application. At least one certified employee is required for each establishment. Some exemptions are allowed based on the menu. See the Indiana State Department of Health website for more information about the certified food handler requirements, exemptions, and a list of entities offering training.
Annual Retail Food Establishment Permit
Permit fees are based on the square footage of your operation unless you sell only prepackaged foods such as packaged ice cream, frozen pizzas, milk, eggs, or deli meats and cheeses in their original package.
Annual Retail Food Establishment Permits must be renewed annually. Permit renewals must be received and/or postmarked on or before December 31st for the following permitting year. Fees received after December 31st for permit renewals will incur a 100% Late Fee.
Annual Full-Service Retail Food Establishment Permit Fees:
- Less than 3,000 square feet $300.00
- 3,000 to less than 10,000 square feet $400.00
- 10,000 to less than 15,000 square feet $500.00
- 15,000 square feet or greater $600.00
Annual Bed and Breakfast Permit Fee:
Annual Limited Retail Food Establishment Permit Fee:
- Limited (Prepackaged Only) $150.00
Partial Year Retail Food Establishment Permit
The Partial Year Retail Food Establishment Permit covers those retail food establishments operating only seasonally during a calendar year. Typically this operation occurs mid-March through the end of October or early November or Memorial Day through Labor Day. This may also include seasonal food vendors/temporary retail food establishments operating at multiple temporary events or farmers' markets in Porter County within 6 consecutive months of the calendar year.
Partial Year Retail Food Establishment Permit Fee:
- Partial Year Fee $150.00
Temporary Event Food Vendor Permit
A Temporary Retail Food Establishment is a food establishment that operates at a fixed location for a period of time not more than 14 consecutive days in conjunction with a single event or celebration.
Temporary food vendors are required to obtain a temporary food vendor permit more than 7 days prior to operating at an event. Permits applied for 3-7 days in advance will incur an additional $10 fee and permits applied for 48 hours or less in advance will incur an additional $20 fee.
Not-for-profit organizations may or may not require a temporary event food vendor permit; please contact the Porter County Health Department Food Service Division, at 219-465-3525, to determine if qualify. Not-for-profit food vendors are not charged a permit fee.
Guidance on not-for-profit organizations that operate temporary food services.
Temporary Food Vendor Permit Fees
- Temporary Fee (per day) $20.00/$30.00/$40.00
- Temporary Fee (maximum per event) $100.00/$150.00/$200.00
Temporary event requirements and guidelines.
Food vendor application instructions. Scan here
Annual-Temporary Food Establishment Permit
There are various types of annual-temporary permits available for food vendors operating at multiple temporary events or farmers' markets in Porter County throughout the calendar year. If you are unsure of which type of annual-temporary permit is applicable to your establishment, please call our office before submitting your application and payment. Please note that food vendors are responsible for any payment adjustments necessary before taking part in any event.
Printable Retail Food Establishment Permit Applications
- Annual Retail Food Establishment Permit Application (PDF) - Printable | Online
- Annual-Temporary Food Establishment Permit Application (PDF) - Printable | Online
- Partial Year Retail Food Establishment Permit Application (PDF) - Printable | Online
- Temporary Event Food Vendor Permit Application (PDF) - Printable | Online