Food, beverage and lodging

Hennepin County provides food, beverage and lodging inspections, and an enforcement program to prevent water and foodborne illnesses for some cities. Click to see a map of the county's jurisdiction.

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Applications

Hennepin County Environmental Health jurisdiction map (PDF).

Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP) plan

Based on Minnesota Rule 4626, as adopted by Hennepin County Ordinances No. 3, a HACCP plan is required if the following operations are performed:

  1. When a variance has been issued to the required cooking temperatures of raw animal foods
  2. Curing or using additives to preserve food
  3. Operating molluscan shellfish tanks
  4. Removing the tags from shellstock
  5. Using reduced oxygen packaging

HACCP plan approval required

Hennepin County Ordinance 3 requires that the HACCP plan be submitted to and approved by Hennepin County Environmental Health. This approval indicates only that the plan complies with the provisions of Hennepin County County Ordinance 3 and Minnesota 4626. It does not guarantee that all hazards are controlled or guarantee a safe food product.

HACCP plan audits

Hennepin County Environmental Health will conduct on-site HACCP audits on an annual basis. Additional audits may be required if the plan provisions are not being correctly followed.

Submit a HACCP plan for approval

HACCP plan application (PDF).
HACCP request for variance (PDF).

Time as a public health control application

Time as a public health control is using only time rather than time and temperature to control the growth of bacteria and keep food safe. Food is generally held under mechanical temperature control (hot holding units and refrigerators) to ensure safe product and to control bacterial growth in potentially hazardous foods.

When time is closely monitored, food may be kept under no temperature control for four hours or less. Within four hours, there will be limited bacterial growth or toxins produced. Once time is used as a control, food may not be placed back under mechanical temperature control to be saved and used later.

If your establishment would like to use time as a control, the application below must be submitted and approved prior to use in the establishment.

Time as a public health control application (PDF).

Short-term food event license

If you would like to serve foods that could pose a food safety hazard, click here for a 2014 Hennepin County Environmental Health short-term (itinerant) food event license application (PDF).

If you are planning to serve foods that are unlikely to pose a food safety hazard, click here for a 2014 itinerant low food license application (PDF)

Please direct phone calls to 612-543-5200.

Legislative update

New State Legislature has passed that affects itinerant food licensing. These changes are effective August 1, 2011.

For more details, please contact Hennepin County Environmental Health Department, 612-543-5200, and ask to speak with an inspector or supervisor. 

Legislative bill, S.F. No. 477 

Faith-based organizations

Faith-based organizations serving food in their building (church, synagogue, other houses of worship) or on their property for fund-raisers or community events are exempt from licensing. However, they must provide a certified food manager or volunteer trained in a food safety course.

NOTE: This exemption does not apply to faith-based organizations at the state agriculture society or county fairs, or to faith-based organizations that choose to apply for a license.

Faith-based exemptions (PDF).

Tax-exempt fraternal, sportsman or patriotic organizations

These organizations holding food events in their building(s) or on their property at which home-prepared food is donated by organization members for sale at the events, are exempt from licensing, provided:

  • The event is not a circus, carnival or fair
  • The organization controls the admission of persons to the event, the event agenda, or both
  • The organization's licensed kitchen (if they have one) is not used in any manner for the event

NOTE: These exemptions do not apply if the event is held at a location other than their own property.

Other exemptions (PDF).

Vending machine license

To obtain licenses for vending machines, complete the application form and mail in payment.

Vending application and fees 2014 (PDF).

Change of ownership

When an existing establishment changes owners, the license is not transferable. Use the form below to change ownership and apply for a new license for the establishment.

Change of ownership form (PDF)

Please direct phone calls to 612-543-5200.

Basic food safety class

Register for the Basics of Foodborne Illness Prevention, a 3-hour course offered through Hennepin County Environmental Health.

This course is required for the person-in-charge of limited food service establishments that are exempt from the full certified food manager requirement. It covers sanitation, foodborne illness prevention, and food handling practices.

Call 612-543-5200 for more information, or find application information in the Basics of Foodborne Illness Brochure 2014 (PDF).

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