Food License, Safety & Inspection

Responsibilities & Services

Under contract with the Iowa Department of Inspections and Appeals, this Activity enforces the 2009 Food Code:
  • Inspects and licenses restaurants, taverns, temporary food stands, mobile food stands, grocery stores, bakeries, etc.
  • Inspects hotels, motels, bed and breakfast inns, and vending machines

New or Proposed Food Establishments

The food establishment owner must complete the Plan Review Application Packet, and provide blueprints/plans for the establishment before approval of any new establishment is given or a new license is issued. Food Establishment Plan Review Application (Aplicacion para establecimiento de comida)

Basic Food Establishment Requirements
Requisitos establecimiento de comida
Mobile Food Unit/Pushcart Requirements, Guidelines for Mobile Food Unit Establishments

Food License/Permit Applications:

Food Establishment Application for New Establishments
Home Food Establishment License Application
Temporary Food Stand Application, Read Temporary Food Stand Guidelines here
Vending Machine Operator License Application
Farmer's Market License Application
Hotel-Motel-Bed & Breakfast License Application

You may purchase a paper copy or CD version of the 2009 Food Code at the FDA Website.


The Iowa Food Code Section 2-102.11 states: "Based on the risks inherent to the food oepration, during inspections and upon request, the person-in-charge shall demonstrate to the Regulatory Authority, knowledge of foodborne disease prevention, application of the Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point principles, and the requirements of this Code."

This requirement can be achieved by attending a food safety training sponsored by an approved provider.  Iowa State University Extension and Outreach-Dubuque County and NICC are both approved providers for this training.

Iowa State University Extension and Outreach
Contact Cindy Baumgartner at 563-927-4201 or for a course schedule.

Northeast Iowa Community College
Please call 563-557-8271.


Access to Handwashing Signs is available.

Food employees shall clean their hands and exposed portions of their arms immediately before engaging in food preparation including working with exposed food, clean equipment and utensils, and unwrapped single-service and single-use articles and:
  • After touching bare human body parts other than clean hands and clean, exposed portions of arms
  • After using the toilet room
  • After caring for or handling support animals or aquatic animals
  • After coughing, sneezing, using a handkerchief or disposable tissue, using tobacco, eating, or drinking
  • After handling soiled equipment or utensils
  • During food preparation, as often as necessary to remove soil and contamination and to prevent cross contamination when changing tasks
  • When switching between working with raw food and working with ready-to-eat food
  • Before donning gloves for working with food
  • After engaging in other activities that contaminate the hands

Food Safety at Festivals and Fairs

The attached link is a great source of information on food safety when you attend festivals and fairs.  Check it out at