The Health Department
The health department makes sure that what you eat is safe. It exists in local government to ensure that food service establishments operate in a sanitary manner that complies with food safety and sanitation guidelines. Without a permit from the health department, you are not allowed to sell food of any kind to the public. These permits are issued for one year at a time and can be revoked at any time due to poor execution or failure to comply with specific guidelines. State and local health departments often work together to administer inspections, issue licensing, and offer educational materials.
The Fire Department
The fire department issues fire permits, and a restaurant cannot open without a fire permit. Generally, the state fire marshal’s office and the local fire department work hand in hand to administer a set of guidelines and regulations that closely resemble that of the National Fire Protection Code. The local fire department usually performs the required inspections and sets up your restaurant’s specific guidelines, as well as issues the permit itself. Obviously, you want to protect your restaurant against a fire.
The Building Department
The building department issues building permits and performs inspections. From community to community, the building codes differ greatly. If you build more than one restaurant, make sure you know that rules change depending on your location. In many places, you have to check with several agencies before applying for and receiving a building permit and a certificate of occupancy.
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