If opening a retail food establishment in Missouri, that is not regulated by a city or county ordinance, the owner or operator must complete an Application for Food Establishment. A retail food establishment is a facility that stores, prepares, packages, serves, vends food directly to the consumer, or otherwise provides food for human consumption such as a restaurant, caterer, grocery store or convenience store. The application form must be completed and submitted to the regulatory agency, at least thirty (30) days prior to opening. The inspecting agency will conduct a routine food safety pre-opening inspection. The agency receiving the application and conducting that inspection will generally be your county health department or a city health department.

Retail food establishments may also need a license for their frozen dessert machines. More information about the application and frozen desserts is available on the Frozen Dessert web page. Contact the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services, at 573-751-6090, to discuss the requirements, if you need help.