Department of Public Health

Opening a restaurant requires several permits, inspections and sign-offs from the local health department. All restaurants, bars, concession stands, mobile food units, and temporary food events must obtain a permit to operate from the Department of Public Health.  And if a site location requires new construction or remodeling, the Department of Public Health is required to check plans and inspect the construction or remodeling.

To get started in San Francisco, visit Environmental Health Retail Food Safety Program; Berkeley, Oakland, San Mateo, Marin and Santa Clara.  The San Francisco Department of Public Health has prepared a basic brochure about food safety guidelines in English, Chinese, Spanish, and Vietnamese.

Additionally there are food safety requirements.  Below are links to some key regulations.

Specialized Food Processing– New Form Required – In 2015, San Francisco Dept. of Public Health begun require restaurants that add any specialized food processes to their menus to complete a Specialized Food Processing Questionnaire while working closely with their local health inspector to develop the proper internal processes. Specialized food processes include cook-chill, sous vide, or raw food packaging. We’ve provided checklists on the preparation of Vacuum Packaging requirements and several of the most common types of specialized food processes.

Animals in Food Facilities– Service Dogs

San Francisco Smoke Free Ordinance– to obtain smoke free signs, contact us here

Consumer Advisory Notice

CA Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment- In 1986, California passed Proposition 65 that requires the State to publish a list of harmful chemicals known to cause cancer, birth defects, or other reproductive harm. Businesses are then required to post relevant warnings in their space. More information on what a warning must contain can be found here.

San Francisco Single Occupancy Restroom Regulation

As of August 20, 2016, San Francisco requires that all single occupancy restrooms that are open to the public, and/or to the employees of the establishment, be identified as all-gender facilities and shall be made available to persons of any gender identity. A single occupancy restroom is defined as a private toilet facility with a single toilet, or with a single toilet and a urinal and designed for use by no more than one occupant at a time, or for family or assisted use. You can read the exact language of the law here.

San Francisco Restrictions on E-Cigarettes

While smoking bans have long been in effect, the advent of E-Cigarettes presented a new smoking frontier.  E-Cigarettes are now being treated the same as traditional cigarettes.  The San Francisco Health Code has been amended to prohibit the use of electronic cigarettes where smoking is otherwise prohibited; require a tobacco permit for the sale of electronic cigarettes; prohibit the sale of electronic cigarettes where the sale of tobacco products is otherwise prohibited; and making environmental findings.Here you can find a copy of a posting for your business.