Food Services

Protecting our community from the transmission of disease by food. The department provides state licensing, inspection and education to food service operations and retail food establishments in Richland County. The Board of Health, with the help of the Food Service division, enforces food safety rules and laws, which are set forth by the Ohio Revised Code and the Ohio Administrative code.

Reopening Food Service Stations

Ohio Governor Mike DeWine announced on February 11, 2021 that Ohio Department of Health Director Stephanie McCloud signed the Addendum to Director’s Third Amended Order that Reopens Restaurants, Bars, Banquet and Catering Facilities and Services to Dine-In Service, as long as the following conditions are met:   Click HERE to see the entire wording on the Amended order.

Licensing and Inspections

The Food Service division at Richland Public Health licenses and routinely inspects food service operations, temporary and mobile food services, vending locations and food establishments to ensure public safety. When a health code violation is discovered, the problem is thoroughly explained and corrective measures are taken. Thanks to an ongoing working relationship between the Health Department’s Registered Sanitarians and the food service operators in Richland County, our community is protected against foodborne illnesses resulting from improper food preparation, handling, and storage as defined by the health code.

Food Service Pre-Purchase

Inspection Service

Richland Public Health offers a pre-purchase inspection service for food service operations. The service is offered, at no expense, to individuals considering a food service operation/retail food establishment in an existing building. Requests can be made by calling the Environmental Health Division at the Health Department, 419-774-4520.

The service is offered to assist the original owner or operator and prospective owner or operator in identifying sanitary deficiencies which exist. The inspection, done by a sanitarian and plumbing inspector, will also address all time limitations which apply to the correction of deficiencies. Prior to the issuance of a license, particular food service operation standards must be met. The particular specifications that apply are dependent upon the nature of the proposed operation, the menu and, in the case of pre-existing food service locations, the length of time since the food service was last open. 

The specific requirements will be identified through the pre-purchase inspection and a written report will be provided to the owner detailing findings.

For individuals considering purchasing an existing restaurant, the pre-purchase inspection could identify plumbing and equipment upgrades which would be required to bring a facility up to code which could cost thousands of dollars. The pre-purchase inspection will help avoid delays in getting a food license after new ownership.

A license can not be issued for conducting a food service operation, including pizza operations, in Ohio until a final inspection confirms applicable items of the Ohio Uniform Food Safety Code have been complied with.

Food Service Documents

2021 Food License Fees

Commercial, Mobile, Vending, Temporary, Water Samples Fees

Water System Sample Request

A fillable form for requesting water sample tests

Uniform Food Safety Code

Ohio Uniform Food Safety Code Chapter 3717-1 Ohio Administrative Code

2021 Application

2021 Application for a License to Conduct a Food Service Operation or Retail Food Establishment

Temporary Application

Application for Temporary Food Service Operation or Retail Food Establishment

Food Safety Poster

3 Sinks to Wash Utencils

Food Safety Poster

Cooking Temperatures

Food Safety Poster

Wash Your Hands

Risk Level

 Food Service Operations & Retail Food Establishments (3701-21-02.3)

Emergency Handbook

Emergency Handbook for Food Managers

Food Safety Program

Ohio Department of Health Food Safety Information

Food Safety

Ohio Department of Agriculture – Food Safety

Opening a Food Business and Plan Review Application

A helpful guide for opening and operating a food business in Richland County.

Mobile Food Service Operation

A Questions and Answers Guide for opening a Mobile Food Service Operation.

Food Annual Report

A comprehensive yearly review of the Richland Public Health Food Safety Program

Food Plan Review

Facility Layout and Equipment (FLES)

Every food operation must submit two complete sets of plans to Richland Public Health whenever planning construction, building remodeling, or installation of new facilities and/or equipment whether you are a new, proposed, or a currently or previously licensed operation. Additionally, since FSO and RFE licenses are not transferable, when a change of ownership is planned, no license can be issued until complete plans have been submitted, reviewed, and approved.

This guidance document is intended to assist you in preparing your plans and is based on the Ohio Uniform Food Safety Code.

Opening a Food Business

A helpful guide to opening and operating a food business in Richland County. Includes the needed “Food Business Plan Review Application”.

Person in Charge Certification Training Course

Classes to be determined for 2021.


Food Safety Course 

 Person In Charge Certification


There are no prerequisites to taking the Person in Charge Certification Course.

This course has been approved through Ohio Department of Health.

Upon successful completion of the course, you will receive a certificate to display in your facility.

Cost for the course is $25.00

*Registrations and payment are due 1 week prior to course date.*


All materials provided to you.

This three-hour class will cover the following topics in food safety:

  • Food Sources
  • Personal Hygiene and Handwashing
  • Cross Contamination
  • Cleaning/Sanitizing of equipment and utensils
  • Proper cooking, cooling and holding of food
  • Ohio Uniform Food Code (updates)

2021 Manager Certification in Food Protection

Manager Certification in Food Protection Course & Proctored Exams

Month Type Date(s) Time Instructor
Classes to be determined for 2021.



All proctored exam registrations are $60.00 and in-person courses are $140.00.

Payment is non-refundable; we will try our best to make arrangements for another course/exam, when available.

Registrations are limited to 35 per session.

Please brings a #2 pencil and valid photo ID for the exam dates.

*If you should have any questions, please contact an RPH registered Proctor/Lecturer (419) 774-4740.

Please complete the registration form below corresponding to the type of service requested:

You may decide to take the online course yourself ($125.00) and then take the proctored exam. Click the button for directions on how to do that.

Safe Minimum Cooking Temperatures

Use this chart and a food thermometer to ensure that meat, poultry, seafood, and other cooked foods reach a safe minimum internal temperature: 

FOOD RECALLS: Periodically, the Health Department will post food recall announcements when the recall affects Richland County food items or grocery stores, is an Ohio or national recall, or involves a foodborne illness outbreak.

For food recalls that are active, we suggest the following link to the USDA Food Safety and Inspection Services (FSIS) recall site: USDA FSIS Current Food Recall site

Questions or Comments

We'd love to hear from you. Contact us or take our survey to speak to one of our public health professionals or share your experience with our services. We value your feedback!