The Food Safety Program is responsible for licensing and inspecting retail food businesses. These include grocery stores, restaurants, bars, delis, convenience stores, vending machines, micromarkets, food carts and all food sold at fairs and festivals. The inspections are a service provided for the public to ensure the safety of Columbus' food supply.
COVID-19 Pandemic updates:
For more information on COVID-19, please see our main COVID-19 page.
Columbus Division of Fire-Barrier use Guidelines - Columbus Division of Fire (CFD) guidelines regarding use of temporary barriers to maintain social distancing.
As restaurants begin to re-open dining rooms, there are many important guidelines that facilities need to think about. These guidelines should be followed along with all other state and city regulations for food establishments. COVID-19 Food Establishments Guidelines. Additionally, Columbus Public Health has published a COVID-19 Employee Health Policy Agreement and COVID-19 Symptom Poster for licensed facilities to utilize.
The Ohio Department of Agriculture information on COVID-19 for Farmers Markets
Sector Specific Operating Requirements for businesses to reopen as part of Responsible RestartOhio for Restaurants and Bars and the COVID-19 Restaurants & Food Establishment Best Practices Guidance
Coronavirus/COVID-19 and Food Safety - and FAQ from the National Environmental Health Association
Do-It-Yourself Cloth Face Covering Instructions from the CDC.
The Ohio Department of Health has published a checklist for handling food to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Checklist for Safe Food Handling.
Food trucks are temporarily allowed at Ohio Department of Transportation to help provide access to hot meals to truck drivers and other essential travelers. Please visit ODOT for further information on obtaining a Temporary Rest Area Food Truck Permit during the COVID-19 Pandemic.
Relevant information is available on the Ohio Department of Health's Food Safety Program page. Additionally, the Food and Drug Administration has produced a guidance document entitled "Best Practices for Retail Food Stores, Restaurants, and Food Pick-Up/Delivery Services During the COVID-19 Pandemic"
On March 17, 2020, the Health Commissioner has ordered salad bars and buffets to close effective immediately. Please click the link below to read the order.
Health Commissioner Order Salad Bars and Buffets March 17 2020
To begin the process of receiving a license to operate a retail food facility:
- Review our Starting a Food Business Guide
- Complete and submit a Plan Review Application or Micromarket Plan Review Application, with your facility plans and a review fee.
- If you would like to submit your plans electronically, please review this guide to Submitting Food Business Plans and Application Electronically.
We will assist you with the layout of the facility, the equipment you will need and the food preparation processes required to be able to serve a safe food product to your customers.
NOTICE: As of October 1st, 2019 the process for
change of ownerships has changed. All change of ownerships are required
to submit application and go through plan review. This is required even
if no changes have been made to the existing facility. The following is a
link to the new change of ownership packet that is required to be filled out
and submitted prior to scheduling licensing inspection
Training & Workshops
Due to COVID-19, all classes are cancelled through July.
Any individual who is employed in a food establishment and works with food is encouraged to learn about food safety. Our workshops are designed to promote proper food handling that prevents foodborne illness.
Columbus Public Health will be offering proctoring for the ServSafe Managers online 2020 Food Safety Workshop Schedule course test. There will be a two-hour mandatory review session with an instructor prior to the test being given that day. The option for taking the online ServSafe Managers class is only recommended for people who are re-certifying or work in full service kitchens and are already familiar with taking an online class. Please arrive early for the class. The doors will close promptly at the start time of the class and no one will be allowed to enter the class after the start time. Must bring a copy of the online class completion certificate for us to keep on file with you to the class.
Responsible for the licensing and inspection of all micromarket locations in Columbus City and Worthington.
Assists with the layout of the mobile food operation, the equipment needed and the food preparation processes required to be able to serve safe food products to the community.
Licenses and inspects all temporary food locations such as those at fairs and festivals, and makes sure that they comply with the Uniform Food Safety Code.
Food for Childcare Centers
Licenses and inspects the food service portion of childcare facilities. In most situation, childcare facilities will need to obtain a food license if they are supplying a meal, snacks, or beverages. Please see our Food in Childcare Centers FAQ for more information.
Dogs on Patios
Licensed food facilities that wish to allow dogs in outdoor dining areas must comply with the standards in the new law, see our Dogs on Patios Guidance Document for more information.
Responsible for the licensing and inspection of all food vending machine locations in the Cities of Columbus and Worthington.
If needed, enforcement measures are taken to ensure the safety of the food being sold. When critical violations are found during regular inspections or complaint investigations, enforcement actions may be necessary.
Foodborne Illness Reporting
Food service workers, managers and owners should consider all reports of possible foodborne illness legitimate and notify Columbus Public Health immediately. For more information, see our Foodborne Illness Reporting page.
Food Protection Advisory Committee
A partnership between Columbus Public Health, representatives of the retail food industry, and other interested participants.
Activities focus on promoting food safety in Columbus and Worthington.
Online Inspection Results of Licensed Businesses
Online posting of inspection reports is a service provided to inform of the health and safety status of licensed businesses in Columbus and Worthington. Inspection results appear approximately two weeks following the inspection.