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 Working with our community to ensure
 a safe and healthy environment.

Plan Review Program

The design and construction of a food service facility is as important as the operation of the business. The facility itself is the foundation of the business. Proper design and construction will lend itself to the control of critical food safety issues and general sanitation. With well thought out planning, you can create a business that is not only safe, but is easy to maintain and efficient as well.

If you are planning to build a new facility or remodel an existing one, there are certain steps you need to take to insure that your business is safe and approved by our Department.

  1. The first step is to submit plans. Plans should be submitted before the project begins. Modifications to the original design may be required to meet Health Code requirements, which could result in a resubmittal to our department and/or the local building department. Late submittals typically result in additional expenses and project delays. We prefer professionally generated architectural plans, but we will accept hand drawn plans, as long as they include the correct and necessary information. Guidelines and applications on how to create and submit plans are available online. Plan Review Fees vary depending on the type of facility. Multiple facilities may require multiple permits which will each have a submittal fee associated with it. If the business is scheduled to open within 15 business days of submitting plans or is already open, fees will be expedited (fees doubled per permit). In addition to submitting to our Department, other regulatory authorities (e.g. Local/County Building Departments) may require plans. Make sure all appropriate regulatory agencies have been contacted.
  2. After plans are submitted, inspectors will review the plans. This process is to make sure the proposed facility meets Health Code requirements in the areas of general layout, room finishes, proper equipment, adequate ventilation, and sufficient plumbing. The layout should be efficient and designed to minimize potential food contamination. Restaurants and other facilities have a lot of activity, which requires cleaning to maintain proper sanitation. Correct room finishes help maintain sanitary conditions, which in turn, minimize the potential contamination of food and food contact surfaces. Room finishes, in all food related areas, ware washing areas, and restrooms, need to be smooth, durable, nonabsorbent, and easily cleanable. Proper installations of finishes are worth the investment when it comes to cleaning and sanitizing. All equipment in regulated facilities must be commercial grade. The Health Code standard for equipment is set by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI). The National Sanitation Foundation (NSF) standards are certified by ANSI and therefore are acceptable as well. In addition the Health Code requires all construction to meet applicable trade codes. Construction must meet all Uniform Mechanical and Uniform Plumbing Code requirements.
  3. Once the plans have been reviewed, a response letter is sent to the corresponding party informing them if the plans have been approved and will include any modifications that are necessary. Approvals shall expire at the end of one year unless the project in the approved plans is under construction by that time. Upon approval of the plans, construction should begin. Inspectors will likely make random visits during construction to check on status and make corrections as needed. However, it is the ultimate responsibility of the owner/contractor to contact our Department for inspections. Operators need to request a plumbing inspection when the facility is 20% complete, an equipment inspection when the facility is 75% complete, and a final inspection when all construction is complete and the facility has received a certificate of occupancy. Please allow 5 to 7 business days to schedule the inspection.

Please see the Plan Review Process sheet for more detail on all the required steps.

By this time, you hopefully have designed a safe, maintainable, and efficient facility. In doing so, your business is more likely to be successful and profitable. When that happens, everyone wins; the owners, employees, regulators, and of course, the customers.

If you have any questions about this process, please contact us at (602) 506-6980 or by email.