Food Service and Retail Establishment Licensing

Applications and guidance documents

Food service establishment license (RS): for establishments that sell food products to the public for on site consumption—restaurants, cafeterias, bars.

Food Retail establishment license (FE): for establishment that sell food products to the public for consumption off site—grocery stores, convenience stores with only prepackaged foods.

Dual licensing may be required if the establishment sells for both on site and off site consumption—coffee shops, convenience stores with food cooked onsite.

To properly complete an application, first fill out the application form along with all of the appropriate information regarding the application. Then hand deliver or mail the application and fee to the Public Health Department between 8-4:30 Monday through Friday. The department currently only accepts cash, personal or cashiers check, or money order.

Application and Requirement Documents

**Both the Food Establishment License Application and Plan Review Application in the New Food Establishment License Application Packet must be turned in complete with ALL applications. Be sure to speak with the local city governments or fire officials to ensure any additional permitting or inspections are completed. If there are questions regarding specific details for the Plan Review Application, speak with the property or facility owner to clarify the facility details/construction/specifics/layout. Incomplete applications will be rejected.**

New Food Establishment License Application Packet**

The new application packet contains the following documents

  • Food Establishment License Application
  • Plan Review Application
  • Food Handler’s Manual
  • Guide to Starting a Food Business
  • Certified Food Protection Manager training

Additional Guidance Documents


2013 Food Code and Supplement Link
Iowa Administrative Code Chapter 30 & Chapter 31, and Iowa Code Chapter 137F

Certified Food Protection Manager Information:

Certified Food Protection Manager
ServSafe Food Safety Training
ServSafe registration form - English
ServSafe registration form - Spanish

Guidance Documents:

Employee Health Reporting Agreements
Food Safety Guidance Documents (all training materials)
Additional Code and Guidance Documents
Bodily fluid clean-up

Additional languages for Form 1b