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Food Service Facility Licenses - General Information

New! Cottage Food Business Facts

A cottage food business is one that produces or packages cottage food products in a residential kitchen and has annual revenues from the sale of cottage foods in an amount not exceeding $25,000. Cottage food businesses do not require a license by local health departments or Maryland State agencies. Cottage food products must be stored on the premises of the cottage food business, may be offered for sale only at farmers’ markets or public events, and must be prepackaged with a label that contains the following information:

  1. The name and address of the cottage food business;
  2. The name of the cottage food product;
  3. The ingredients of the cottage food product in descending order by weight;
  4. The net weight or net volume of the cottage food product;
  5. Allergen information as specified by federal labeling requirements;
  6. Nutritional information as specified by federal labeling requirements, if any nutritional information claim is made; and
  7. Printed in 10 point or larger type in a color that provides a clear contrast to the background of the label: "Made by a cottage food business that is not subject to Maryland’s food safety regulations."
    Click here to see an example of a cottage food label.

Cottage food businesses are limited to producing or packaging only the following food items:

  1. Non-potentially hazardous acid canned fruit butters made only from apples, apricots, grapes, peaches, plums, prunes or quince;
  2. Non-potentially hazardous acid canned jams, preserves, or jellies made only from apples, apricots, grapes, peaches, plums, prunes, quince, oranges, nectarines, tangerines, blackberries, boysenberries, cherries, cranberries, strawberries or red currants;
  3. Non-potentially hazardous baked goods; and
  4. Non-potentially hazardous candy.

Dining Out Growth Act of 2011 (Dogs and Outdoor Dining Areas) (PDF)

The Anne Arundel County Department of Health is responsible for inspecting and licensing most facilities in the County that prepare food for the public. These facilities include everything from full service restaurants to discount stores, snack bars, taverns and mobile hot dog carts. Food facilities within institutions such as schools, prisons and hospitals are also licensed, as are events such as fairs and carnivals.

Foods prepared for consumption by the public must be prepared in commercial facilities with approved equipment. Home preparation or processing of food for public consumption is not allowed under Maryland State Regulations (COMAR 10.15.03).

A Food Service Facility license is required whether food is sold or given away. Processors or wholesalers who do not sell any food products directly to the consumer are regulated by the State Department of Health and Mental Hygiene.

On this page, you'll find:

New Food Service Facilities

In order to open a new food service facility, complete plans for the building, including all food preparation equipment, menu and food preparation manual (HACCP), must be submitted to the County Permit Application Center together with the following fees:

1. License Application fee  
High Priority $590
High Priority (mid-year operating less than 4 months) $395
Medium Priority $395
Medium Priority (mid-year operating less than 6 months) $195
Low Priority $195

[download the Permanent Food Service Facility application] (PDF)

 
Bed and Breakfast (High Priority) $400
Bed and Breakfast (Medium Priority) $270
[download the Bed and Breakfast Food Service Facility application] (PDF)  
   
2. Workman's Compensation forms no fee
Workers' Compensation Application for Certificate of Compliance (PDF)  
Workers' Compensation Statement of Compliance (PDF)
Workers' Compensation Exclusion Form (PDF)
   
3. Structural Plan Review fee  
low priority $500
high/medium priority $750
[download the Permanent Food Service Facility application] (PDF)  
   
4. HACCP Plan Review fee  
high/medium priority only $750
[download the Permanent Food Service Facility application] (PDF)  
   
5. State Plan Review fee (if needed)  
Structural $500
HACCP $750

[download the Permanent Food Service Facility application] (PDF)

[download the Critical Control Procedures form English Spanish] (PDF)

 


A low priority facility sells only prepackaged foods, which require no preparation and do not need to be refrigerated. These typically include soda in bottles or cans, packages of chips, candy or cookies, or other snack foods. All other facilities are either high or medium priority.

The Permit Application Center (PAC) has two locations:

  • The Heritage Center, 2664 Riva Road, Annapolis, MD
  • The Heins Building, 7230 Ritchie Highway, Glen Burnie, MD

For food facilities located in the City of Annapolis, follow the same procedure at the City of Annapolis Department of Inspections and Permits, 160 Duke of Gloucester Street, Annapolis, MD.

The Permit Application Center or the City of Annapolis will process your application and forward it to the County Department of Health.

For detailed information on applying for a Building Permit and Food Service Facility License, contact the Anne Arundel County Department of Health at 410-222-7238 and request a Plan Review Packet.

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Change of Ownership

A Food Service Facility License is issued to one owner for one location and is not transferable to another owner or location.

A. If you plan to purchase a food service facility, which is in operation and will continue in uninterrupted operation through the change in ownership, the required forms and fees are as follows:

1. Food Service Facility application  
High Priority $590
High Priority (mid-year operating less than 4 months) $395
Medium Priority $395
Medium Priority (mid-year operating less than 6 months) $195
Low Priority $195
[download the Permanent Food Service Facility application] (PDF)  
Bed and Breakfast (High Priority) $400
Bed and Breakfast (Medium Priority) $270
[download the Bed and Breakfast Food Service Facility application] (PDF)  
   
2. Workman's Compensation forms no fee
Workers' Compensation Application for Certificate of Compliance (PDF)  
Workers' Compensation Statement of Compliance (PDF)
Workers' Compensation Exclusion Form (PDF)
   
3. Transfer of Ownership letter/Priority Assessment form no fee
[download the Transfer of Ownership letter] (PDF)  
[download the Priority Assessment form] (PDF)  
   
4. Structural Plan Review fee  
low priority $500
high/medium priority $750
[download the Permanent Food Service Facility application] (PDF)  
   
5. HACCP Plan Review fee  
high/medium priority only $750
[download the Permanent Food Service Facility application] (PDF)  

B. If you purchase a food facility, which has been closed for any period of time, the required forms and fees are:

1. Food Service Facility application  
High Priority $590
High Priority (mid-year operating less than 4 months) $395
Medium Priority $395
Medium Priority (mid-year operating less than 6 months) $195
Low Priority $195
[download the Permanent Food Service Facility Application] (PDF)  
Bed and Breakfast (High Priority) $400
Bed and Breakfast (Medium Priority) $270
[download the Bed and Breakfast Food Service Facility Application] (PDF)  
   
2. Workman's Compensation forms no fee
Workers' Compensation Application for Certificate of Compliance (PDF)  
Workers' Compensation Statement of Compliance (PDF)
Workers' Compensation Exclusion Form (PDF)
   
3. Structural Plan Review fee  
low priority $500
high/medium priority $750
[download the Permanent Food Service Facility Application] (PDF)  
   
4. HACCP Plan Review fee  
high/medium priority only $750
[download the Permanent Food Service Facility Application] (PDF)  

Before you apply, it is recommended that you contact the Anne Arundel County Department of Health at 410-222-7242 to schedule an appointment for a courtesy inspection of the closed facility. This inspection will indicate what needs to be done in the kitchen and other areas so that you can receive a license to operate the facility. NOTE: The work you wish to do (or are required to do) may require a BUILDING PERMIT. Building permits may be applied for at the Permit Application Centers located at 2664 Riva Road, Annapolis; or 7320 Ritchie Highway, Glen Burnie. For food facilities in the City of Annapolis, apply at the Department of Inspections and Permits, 160 Duke of Gloucester Street, Annapolis.

Once the items specified in the courtesy inspection report have been corrected and the food preparation manual (HACCP) has been approved, call 410-222-7242 for a pre-opening inspection. See Food Service Facility Pre-Opening Checklist. When the facility has passed this inspection, you will receive approval to open for business.

For detailed information on planning, building permits, licensing and HACCP requirements, call the Anne Arundel County Department of Health at 410-222-7238 and request a Plan Review packet.top

Structural Plan Review Requirements

General guidelines on the plan review procedures are required to construct a new food service facility or to remodel an existing food service facility. See Structural Plan Review Requirements.

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Temporary Food Service Facility License

A special event requires a Temporary Food Service Facility License. State regulations define a temporary Food Service Facility as one which operates during a period of time of not more than 14 consecutive days at a fixed location in conjunction with a fair, carnival, public exhibition, construction project, recreational facility or similar gathering.

To apply for a food service license for a special event, bring or mail the SPECIAL EVENT application to the Anne Arundel County Department of Health located at 3 Harry S. Truman Parkway, Annapolis, MD 21401 TWO WEEKS BEFORE you intend to begin operating. There will be a penalty fee assessed for applications received less than two weeks prior to the event. The application requires information such as the location, date(s) and time of the event, what foods will be served, and the address and phone number of a contact person. The fee for the permit is:

Temporary (High and Medium Priority) $195
Temporary (Low Priority) $35
Temporary (Excluded Organization) Exempt
Penalty Fee (for applications received less than two weeks prior to event)  
♦ High/Medium Priorty $39
♦ Low Priority $7

An excluded organization is defined as a bonafide nonprofit charitable, fraternal or religious organization with tax-exempt status. If you supply proof (a Federal tax I. D. number) that the food service facility will be operated by a nonprofit organization, there is no fee.

An inspector will visit the facility on the first day of operation and bring the license to you.

top Mobile Unit Food Service Facility

See Mobile Unit Facts and Requirements

To obtain a license to operate a mobile food service unit, such as a hot dog cart or sandwich truck, or other type of mobile food unit, the required forms and fees are as follows:

1. Mobile Unit application $395
[download the Mobile Unit Food Service Facility application] (PDF)  
   
2. Mobile Unit Acknowledgment form no fee
[download the Mobile Unit Acknowledgment form] (PDF)  
   
3. Mobile Unit Depot Permission form no fee
[download the Mobile Unit Depot Permission form] (PDF)  
   
4. Workman's Compensation form no fee
Workers' Compensation Application for Certificate of Compliance (PDF)  
Workers' Compensation Statement of Compliance (PDF)
Workers' Compensation Exclusion Form (PDF)
   
5. Structural Plan Review fee  
high/medium/low priority no fee
[download the Mobile Unit Food Service Facility application] (PDF)  
   
6. HACCP Plan Review fee  
high/medium priority only $750
See Mobile Unit Plan Review Requirements  
[download the Food Service Facility application](PDF)  

After these forms have been submitted to the Department of Health, call 410-222-7239 to make an appointment to have your mobile unit inspected. The unit must be brought to the Anne Arundel County Department of Health (lower parking lot) located at 3 Harry S. Truman Parkway, Annapolis, MD for this inspection.

NOTE: If you plan to build your own mobile food service unit or to have one built for you, it is strongly recommended that you submit the plans to the Department of Health for review. Failing to do so may leave you with a unit that requires expensive modifications before you can be licensed to operate it.

top Miscellaneous Information

All Food Service Facility licenses expire annually on February 28. If you currently hold a license, you will be mailed a renewal packet in December. You may, of course, download and use the license applications from this website for your application. Penalty fees will be assessed for each 30 day period after the due date until the application and all fees are received by the Department of Health.

The County Department of Public Works requires that all Food Service Facilities have a grease trap, a grease recovery unit, or a specific exemption from this requirement. The Grease and Oil Committee meets once a month to review plans and applications for exemptions. For more information, contact the Pre-treatment Coordinator at 410-222-8818.

Chain restaurants, which basically build the same type of facility in many locations, have a standard set of plans, called a prototype. Prototype plans are reviewed by the State Department of Health and Mental Hygiene. The County Department of Health will not schedule an opening inspection or issue a Food Service Facility license until notice has been received from the State that the plans have been approved. For more information, contact the State Plan Review Section at 410-767-8400.

Fires and Reopening a Food Service Facility.

Following a fire and before a food service facility is reopened, certain procedures must be followed. Click here for more information about notifications, discarding foods and sanitization.

top Important Phone Numbers

Anne Arundel County Department of Health, Plan Review Unit
410-222-7242 or 410-222-7238

Anne Arundel County Permit Application Center (PAC)
Annapolis: 410-222-7700
Glen Burnie: 410-222-6700

City of Annapolis Department of Inspections and Permits
410-263-7946

Anne Arundel County Department of Public Works, Pre-treatment Coordinator
410-222-8818

Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, Plan Review Section
410-767-8400

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