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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.

Preventing Legionnaires' disease at Minnesota hotels

In response to an outbreak of Legionnaires' disease at a Minnesota hotel, Hennepin County has put together a list of resources for hotel staff and managers with information on Legionnaires' disease and how to prevent it. View the list of resources (PDF).

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Eligibility requirements

  • All people 12 and older are eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine
  • The Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine is approved for people 12 and older. The Moderna and Johnson and Johnson COVID-19 vaccines are approved for people 18 and older.

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

Register for the vaccine

Registration is preferred. Limited walk-ins accepted. Register for the vaccine.

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

  • Find and connect with local vaccine providers in your area: Vaccine Locator Tool.
  • Your primary care provider.

Employee resources

Employer toolkit

Letter template from employers to employees

Mailer for employees (PDF)


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

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11x17 poster – Butcher (PDF)

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11x17 poster – Restaurant worker (PDF)

Social media

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

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)

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Instagram – Waitress (JPG)

Facebook/Twitter graphics

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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

Financial resources

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 public health control

This method uses only time to control the growth of bacteria in food and keep it safe. Normally mechanical temperature control is used (like hot holding units and refrigerators). Once you use time only, you may not place food back under mechanical temperature control to save the food and use it later.

You may use the time-only method for no more than six hours (and no more than 4 hours if the food temperature exceeds 70 degrees Fahrenheit).

You must have a written plan ahead of time, kept in the food establishment, and made available to regulators on request. Time as public health control written plan template (PDF)

For more on time as public health control, visit the Minnesota Food Code.

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.

Vending machine license

To get licenses for vending machines, mail payment and completed vending application and fees 2022 form (PDF).

Depending on your current licensing status, where and how long you're going to operate, types of food and other factors, there are different licensing types that your mobile food unit may fall into.

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.


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


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

Faith-based organizations serving food, holding fund-raisers or community events

A certified food manager or volunteer trained in a food safety course must be there.

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

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.

This publication is written by Hennepin County Public Health Protection. It is for food service operators, restaurant owners and managers. It provides current food safety information that businesses can use in their food service operations.

Subscribe to receive the quarterly Food Digest e-newsletter.



Special issues: COVID-19


Special issues: COVID-19

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