Food Protection

Food Protection

8:00 am - 4:30 pm
Mon - Fri


Food Protection Program
(614) 645-8191

(614) 645-7005

Food-related Complaints
645-3111 or 311 online

[email protected]

Food Protection for Businesses

Program Information

Restaurant owner with food 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 Outdoor Dining Permit Information:

In the Public Right of Way:

On Private Property:

Columbus Public Health will be notified when an application is submitted to either The Department of Public Service or The Department of Building and Zoning. Please make sure your application and site plan includes clear information regarding tables, seating and spacing measurements.

For information on COVID-19, please see our COVID-19 page

Plan Review
To begin the process of receiving a license to operate a retail food facility:

  1. Review our Starting a Food Business Guide
  2. Complete and submit a Plan Review Application or Micromarket Plan Review Application, with your facility plans and a review fee.
  3. 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

Workshop and Trainings IconFee Schedule

Training & Workshops

Due to COVID-19, all classes are cancelled until further notice.

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.  

Mobile Operations
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.

Temporary Operations
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.

Donating Food


Licensed food establishments can donate food that has not been served, including any raw, cooked, processed or prepared food; ice; beverage; or ingredient used or intended for use in whole or in part for human consumption, with the condition that the items be wholesome. For more information about how you can safely donate food, see our Food Donation Guidelines for Licensed Food Facilities (Spanish, Chinese, Nepali, Somali)


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 results is a service provided to inform of the health and safety status of licensed businesses in Columbus and Worthington.