Requirements for Food Businesses


If you plan on operating a food business you must obtain approval or a Health Operating Permit from your local Health Authority. This includes businesses that operate year round, on a temporary basis, fundraising or charity events and vendors at farmers markets.

For information on the requirements specific to your business contact your local environmental health officer.

Billing Update: Note to Restaurant, Pool, Hot Tub and Drinking Water System Operators 

Annual operating permits expired on March 31st. Invoices for this year’s permit fees were mailed out the first week of April. Payment processing and processing new applications takes around 30 days, once payments are processed the decal and/or permit and decal will be mailed to you.

Payments can be made by credit card by calling the billing department at 604-918-7507, or can be paid by cash or cheque at any Health Protection office, or mailed to Health Protection PO Box 722, New Westminster, BC V3L 4Z3.

Restaurants and other permitted food businesses

Food businesses that prepare and serve food that is intended for immediate consumption must obtain a Health Operating Permit. This includes, but is not limited to, all types of restaurants. For more information check out our resources for operators and download a copy of the Food Service Establishment Application Package.

Food Stores and Food Manufacturers

Food stores and food manufacturers must obtain an approval to operate. For more information contact the local environmental health officer.

Health approvals and permits

To obtain an approval to operate or a Health Operating Permit submit an Application for Health Approval to the local environmental health officer.

Operating Permits and Approvals are non-transferrable. Existing businesses that undergo a change in ownership must apply for a Health Operating Permit or Health Approval

If you need a replacement Health Operating Permit submit a Health Operating Permit Replacement Request to our billing department. Replacement Permits cost $30.00 each.

Request for Refund

When a business closes within the fiscal year the owner may apply for a refund of fees paid for the months the operating permit was not required. 

Temporary food businesses and special events

Temporary food businesses

These are short-term operations for the preparation or serving of food and include charity and fundraising events. Please submit your Temporary Food Premises Application to the local environmental health officer at least 14 days before the event. Late applications may not be processed.

Farmers markets and other temporary food markets

Individuals planning to sell higher risk food items at a farmers markets or other temporary market must obtain a Letter of Confirmation. Please submit your Application for Sale of Higher Risk Food at Temporary Food Markets to the local environmental health officer at least 30 days before the event.  

Individuals planning to sell lower risk food items are not required to obtain approval.

For more information, review the:

Community festivals in Abbotsford and Surrey (such as the Vaisakhi Parade)

Individuals wishing to prepare or distribute food at a community festival require approval. Please submit your Temporary Food Premises Application form to the local environmental health officer at least 14 days before the event.

Boil water notices

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