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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.

No late penalty fees for 2021

County penalty fees will not accrue in 2021 for the duration of the local public health emergency. COVID-19 memo (PDF)

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Recent updates

Executive Order updates

Executive Order 21-11 took effect Monday, March 15, 2021, at 12 p.m. (noon) and does not have an end date. Effective March 31, 2021, at 11:59 p.m., larger venues, restaurants, gyms, and pools are able to expand their occupancy per the Stay Safe Industry Guidance. Effective April 14, 2021, at 11:59 p.m., the requirement to work from home shifts to a strong recommendation.

Read more about Minnesota’s preparedness plan for bars and restaurants: Executive Order 21-11

Virtual events

The county hosts virtual educational events for food businesses to help navigate the COVID-19 related requirements.

January 2021 event: COVID-19 in-service training

December 2020 event: COVID-19 executive order conversation

October 2020 event: COVID-19 in-service training

What businesses need to do

1. Prepare a plan

2. Follow guidance and requirements

3. Develop an illness screening and contact tracing plan

4. Enhance cleaning and disinfecting

5. Follow re-opening guidance

6. Ensure food safety

Additional resources

Eligibility requirements

  • Be 18 and over
  • Work in the food service or food retail industry
  • If you are 16-17 years old, contact your health care provider to schedule your vaccination. If you do not have a health care provider, email us at hsph.emergency.preparedness@hennepin.us. In your email, include the employee's full first and last name, email, phone number, company/organization, and job title.

General information

  • The vaccine is free
  • Your employer does not have to be licensed by the county
  • You don't have to be a county resident
  • You do not need health insurance
  • You won't be asked about your legal status
  • The vaccine is not required, but for your health and safety it is recommended
  • Vaccines are offered at our community-based vaccine clinics, not on-site at your employer

For questions contact us at hsph.emergency.preparedness@hennepin.us. Help is available in English, Spanish, Somali, and Hmong. 

Register for the vaccine

Vaccine clinics are by appointment only. No walk-ins accepted. Register for the vaccine

This process registers you in our system. It does not give you a vaccine appointment. We will contact you by email when an appointment becomes available.

Hennepin County COVID-19 navigation line

For questions or for help registering, call 612-348-8900. The line accepts calls in English, Spanish, Somali and Hmong.

Other vaccine options

Employee resources

Employer toolkit

Letter template from employers to employees

Mailer for employees (PDF)

Posters

8.5 x 11

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8.5x11 poster – Butcher (PDF)

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8.5x11 poster – Grocer (PDF)

worked to hard for this small poster restaurant
8.5x11 poster – Restaurant worker (PDF)

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8.5x11 poster – Waitress (PDF)

11x17 posters

worked to hard for this large poster butcher
11x17 poster – Butcher (PDF)

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11x17 poster – Restaurant worker (PDF)

Social media

Sample text for Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter (DOC)

Instagram graphics

worked too hard for this Instagram butcher
Instagram – Butcher (JPG)

worked too hard for this Instagram grocer
Instagram – Grocer (JPG)

worked too hard for this Instagram restaurant
Instagram – Restaurant worker (JPG)

worked too hard for this Instagram waitress
Instagram – Waitress (JPG)

Facebook/Twitter graphics

worked too hard for this facebook twitter butcher
Facebook/Twitter – Butcher (JPG)

worked too hard for this facebook twitter grocer
Facebook/Twitter – Grocer (JPG)

worked too hard for this facebook twitter restaurant
Facebook/Twitter – Restaurant Worker (JPG)

worked too hard for this facebook twitter waitress
Facebook/Twitter – Waitress (JPG)

Minnesota Department of Health COVID-19 vaccine employer toolkit

Calling your inspector

Daily logs and checklists

Employee illness

Minnesota food code

See the recently revised and updated Minnesota Food Code (PDF).

Documents outlining the 20 major changes to the Minnesota Food Code:

See a food code training video highlighting the 20 major changes to the food code from The Food Safety Partnership (FSP) of Minnesota.

Time as a public health control application

This method only uses time 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. Once time only is used as a control, food may not be placed back under mechanical temperature control to be saved and used later.

When time is closely monitored, food may be kept under no temperature control for four to six hours. Limited bacterial growth or toxin production will happen during this time.

A written plan is required to be on-site when using this method. To help develop your plan, use this time as a public health control application (PDF).

 

Plan review

Changes made to a current, proposed or previously licensed establishment require a plan review.

Change of ownership

A  license is not transferable from one owner to the next. Begin the change of ownership process by completing the change of ownership form.

Mobile food units (MFU) reciprocity license

Minnesota Department of Agriculture licensed mobile food units do not require additional licensing in our jurisdiction. We offer reciprocity licenses for Mobile Food Units that are currently licensed by:

  • The Minnesota Department of Health, or
  • The cities of Bloomington, Brooklyn Park, Edina, Minneapolis, Minnetonka, Richfield or Wayzata.

Applications

Short-term food event (ITIN) license

We issue two types of short term food licenses, regular and low risk. Please submit your application with payment at least 10 days prior to the event.

Additional information

Exemptions

These exemptions only apply if an event is held in the organization's buildings or on their property.

  • Tax-exempt fraternal, sportsman or patriotic organizations holding events at which home-prepared food is donated by organization members and sold.
    • 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
  • School concession stands; fraternal, sportsman and patriotic organizations; post disaster service events
  • Other exemptions (PDF)

Vending machine license

To get licenses for vending machines, mail payment and completed vending application and fees 2021 form (PDF).

Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP) plan

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.

When required

An HACCP plan is required when:

  • A variance has been issued to the required cooking temperatures of raw animal foods
  • Curing or additives are being used to preserve food
  • Operating molluscan shellfish tanks
  • Removing the tags from shellstock
  • Using reduced oxygen packaging

Plan submission for approval

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.

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