Retail Food Safety Program
The Retail Food Safety Program monitors compliance of local and state food safety regulations in restaurants, markets, and all other retail food operations including temporary food events (e.g. street fairs, concerts, etc.) and farmers' markets.
Principal Activities and Services
Permits to Operate
SFDPH Environmental Health issues permits for the following types of retail food operations:
For any new construction or remodeling of a food facility, the Department of Public Health must perform a Plan Check to review construction plans to ensure that the physical requirements set by the California Health and Safety Code are met.
Inspection, Enforcement and Education
In addition to issuing permits and reviewing construction plans for restaurants, markets, and other retail food operations, SFDPH Environmental Health also conducts the following:
San Francisco Planning Department- New food establishments may require approval of the land use from the Planning Department.
Building Department - A building permit is required if new construction or remodeling occurs in a food facility.
Fire Department - A fire safety inspection of a new business is required to ensure that reasonable fire safety standards exist.
Public Works - Permit is required for use of public walkways, alleys and streets for chairs and seating.
Bay Area Air Quality Management District (BAAQMD) - permit may be required for coffee roasters, charbroilers, and smokehouses.
How to Make a Foodborne Illness Complaint
Call Environmental Health at (415) 252-3800 for: (1) foodborne illness complaints when three people or less are ill and/or (2) general complaints about food establishments. To learn more about foodborne illness investigations, click here.
Call Disease Control as soon as possible at (415) 554-2830 for foodborne illness complaints involving more than four (4) people.
If you would like to make a complaint regarding other Environmental Health issues, you may call 311.
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San Francisco Department of Public Health Environmental Health Branch