Requirements for food businesses

Welcome to operating a food business in the Fraser Health region. Find all the information you need to obtain approval or a health operating permit from Fraser Health.

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, businesses that operate year round, on a temporary basis, mobile food premises, fundraising or charity events, and vendors at farmers markets.

Food stores and food manufacturers must obtain approval to operate.

Should you have questions on the requirement for your specific business, your Public Health Inspector (also called environmental health officer) is available to help you. Find locations of health protection offices.

Resources for operators

For your business to operate effectively and keep all members of the public healthy, you will be asked to submit the following plans and certification to your environmental health officer.

The below flow chart outlines the process you will need to follow and the associated forms we will need to support your application.

Flow chart outlining the application process for new food businesses

Required forms

Food service establishment application package

Find information to assist you in the process of obtaining a health operating permit.

Health approvals and permit

To obtain 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-transferable. Existing businesses that undergo a change in ownership must apply for a health operating permit or health approval.

How to complete your application for health approval

Translated content: English, Arabic, Simplified Chinese, Traditional Chinese, Farsi, Korean, Punjabi, Hindi, Urdu, Spanish, Tagalog, Vietnamese

Floor plans

In your application package, please submit three sets of floor plans drawn to scale. Please contact your environmental health officer if you have any questions about this process.

Food safety plans

All operators of food premises in B.C. are required to have a food safety plan. A food safety plan is a set of written procedures that will help eliminate, prevent or reduce food safety hazards that may cause illness or injury.

Sanitation plans

All operators of food premises in B.C. are required to have a sanitation plan. A sanitation plan is a set of written procedures to help ensure the safe and sanitary operation of the facility. For more information, contact your local environmental health officer.

Learn how to write a sanitation plan on the Ministry of Health website.

Find templates here.

FoodSafe certification

FoodSafe is a provincial food handler training course.

At least Level One is required if you are the owner and at least one person with FoodSafe Level One certification should be onsite at all times of business. Learn more about FoodSafe courses.

Mobile food businesses

Mobile food businesses include any vehicle, cart or other self-contained movable structure from which food is served to the public. Mobile food premises must receive a health operating permit or approval to operate. For more information download a copy of the provincial mobile food premises guidelines or contact your local environmental health officer.

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 market 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.

Guideline for temporary food markets

This guideline provides recommendations for the preparation and display of food intended for sale at temporary food markets.

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.

Request for permit replacement or refund

If you need a replacement health operating permit submit a health operating permit replacement request to our billing department. Replacement permits cost $30 each.

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.