Before You Begin
Contact the community officials responsible for permitting and inspecting facilities aside from the Board of Health, including:
- Zoning. This office determines what types of businesses may occupy a space in their community. For example, property needs different zoning approval for a bar versus a church.
- Building. This officer permits and inspects the electrical and plumbing fixtures in a facility. Contractors who work in commercial businesses must be registered to work in the community by this office. For example, in order for a plumber to install a sink in a kitchen, he or she must first be registered with the city building department and then obtain a permit for the fixture. In some smaller communities building officials are contracted through the state.
- Fire. This office will send a fire inspector to inspect the facility prior to operation. Consult with fire personnel before beginning a remodeling project or building a new facility.
- Mandatory Education. All food operations require a person in charge (PIC) who is certified in either Level I (Person In Charge) or Level II (ServSafe) food safety training or the equivalent. Click here to learn more about food safety education classes.
- Weights and Measures. If your business measures goods on site by weight, volume or length, you must contact the Cuyahoga County Consumer Affairs – Division of Weights and Measures at (216)443-7035 to have your devices certified.
1. Plan Submission
- If your food business is new or extensively remodeled, a plan review application is to be completed and submitted with payment at time of plan approval submission. Use this form to determine the plan approval fee of either $150 (for Class I or II) or $185 (for Class III or IV). Plans must include:
- Equipment List. This includes the makes and model numbers of equipment. All equipment must be National Sanitation Foundation commercial grade or the equivalent.
- Floor Plan. This is a scale drawing of the layout, fixtures, equipment, plumbing etc. in your facility. Be sure to include the surfaces of floors, walls, ceilings and cove base.
- Menu. Provide a list of all the food and beverage items that will be served in the facility (i.e. a variety of soda, juice, and alcoholic beverages).
- Risk Class Identification. View this list to determine which risk class your facility falls into.
2. Pre-Licensing Inspection
- Once your plan review submittal has been approved, call the Cuyahoga County Board of Health to schedule a Pre-Licensing Inspection. Call at least one week prior to your anticipated start date to ensure that an inspector will be available.
- Pre-Licensing Inspection: Use this checklist to prepare for the pre-licensing inspection.
- After passing the pre-licensing inspection, submit a license application and fee for your food business’ appropriate risk class.
Please see the resources below and discuss establishing a quality assurance program with your inspector. Some of the forms are editable using Word or Excel or equivalent programs. Other forms you need a PDF Reader to view.
Employee Exclusions and Restrictions
Employee Illness Log
Equipment Cleaning Schedule
Flow of Food
Food Safety Temperature Log
Levels of Risk
Plan Review Application