Overview/General Information

The purpose of the food sanitation program in Boone County is to prevent food borne illness and educate food establishment personnel on proper food preparation and handling techniques. This is accomplished through inspections and enforcement of standards as well as periodic training classes and workshops.

In Boone County, a food permit is required when any business establishment or organization, public or private, provides food prepared or sold at retail, for human consumption whether on or off the premises.


Applications & Permits

New or Remodeled Establishment.  If you are proposing a newly constructed or extensively remodeled establishment, you must fill out the food permit application below and submit plans for review (see also section below entitled "Food Establishment Plan Review").


To download the New or Remodeled Fixed Site Food Service Permit Application, click here.


Fixed Site Establishment Food Service Permits expire on December 31st. The permits are non-transferable. If any of the information on the permit changes, the permit is not valid and a new permit must be obtained.


To download the Fixed Site Food Permit Application, click here.


Catering Food Service Permits expire on December 31st. The permits are non-transferable. If any of the information on the permit changes, the permit is not valid and a new permit must be obtained. Following are the criteria for a catering permit:

1) Preparation that is done onsite at a public event is not considered catering and instead requires a Temporary Food Service Permit.
2) Catered food that is not served by catering personnel at the public event is considered delivery and must be covered by a Temporary Food Service Permit.
3) Private events do not need a permit (a private event is an event NOT open to the public, i.e. weddings, private banquets)
4) Catering preparation for a public event must be done in a Boone County permitted facility.  If your permitted facility is outside of Boone County, you must instead get a Temporary Food Service Permit and must submit a copy of the most recent food inspection from the Health Department of the county your facility is in.
5) Catered food served must be the same or lower risk factor as the preparation facility permit.
6) If food is medium risk or higher, caterer must agree to provide the following:
a) Notification to BCDPD of catered events 48 hours in advance
b) Qualified personnel to monitor and serve food
c) Proper equipment to ensure temperature holding
d) Means of handwashing and other sanitiation


To download the Catering Food Service Permit Application, click here.



“Temporary food service establishment” means a food service establishment that operates in conjunction with a single event or celebration and is valid for 14 consecutive days.  A permit must be obtained for each booth/stand. Fees are dependent upon the type/preparation of food served. Call 815-544-2951, Ext. 2 for your permit fee. 


To download the Temporary Food Service Permit Application, click here.


To download a brochure of the requirements for a temporary food stand, click here.

To download a Spanish brochure of the requirements for a temporary food stand, click here.



“Mobile food unit” means a self-contained, vehicle mounted food service establishment designed to be readily movable.  Mobile permits are valid from the date of issue through December 31. A permit must be obtained for each mobile unit. Fees are dependent upon the type/preparation of food served. Call 815-544-2951, Ext. 2 for your permit fee. 


To download the Mobile Food Service Permit Application, click here.


Seasonal / Fixed Site Food Service Establishment permits are issued for a 6 month period within the time frame of January 1 to December 31. Fees are dependent upon the type/preparation of food served. Call 815-544-2951, Ext. 2 for your permit fee.


To download the seasonal / fixed site food permit application, click on the link near the top of this page entitled "Fixed Site Establishment Food Service Permit Application", and on that application, be sure to fill in the seasonal dates of operation. 


Vending Machines. An application needs to be submitted which lists the machines owned and the location of each. Only one application is completed and one fee is charged per owner regardless of the number of machines owned and operated. If you have a machine that is vending prepackaged foods such as candy bars, chips, pop, or juice, an application and fee is not necessary. If you have a machine vending ice cream, milk, coffee, soups, prepared items such as salad and sandwiches, an application needs to be completed. Please call ahead for the required fee.


 To download the vending food permit application, click here.



New establishments and establishments that are remodeling are required to submit a scale drawing of the establishment and have a review. This review takes approximately 2 weeks and a fee is required for this review. Contact the Environmental Department for more information and for the required fee.

Requirements for a Kitchen / Plan Review



HAACP is a food safety control program, which includes a site specific step by step description of how food is received, stored, prepared, and served. Following a HAACP plan minimizes the risk of food borne illness or food contamination. More information on developing a HAACP plan can be found at the link below for the Illinois Department of Public Health.



To view a copy of the farmers markets policy, click here.



Be a good consumer advocate! It may be advisable for you to speak to restaurant personnel about some types of complaints. Some complaints are civil matters, not public health concerns, and are not investigated by BCHD. If you are concerned about a possible public health issue at a restaurant in Boone County, you may submit a complaint form.


To download a food complaint form, click here.



To view a copy of the Illinois Department of Public Health - Food Service Sanitation Code, click here.



To continue operating under “boil water” orders or interrupted water service from municipal water supplies, all retail food service establishments (restaurants) must secure and use potable water from an approved source (e.g. from tank trucks or bottled potable water) for all water usage. This includes for the following uses:

1) Coffee, tea, other beverages made in the food establishment
2) Ice
3) Washing produce or thawing frozen foods
4) Employees hand washing
5) Washing all dishes and cooking utensils
6) All water used in 3-compartment sinks
7) All water for sanitizing solutions


It must be noted that equipment plumbed directly into the water system such as direct feed coffee urns, ice machines that manufacture ice on site, and post-mix soda or beverage machines may not be used during the boil order and must be thoroughly cleaned and sanitized after the “boil water” order is lifted.


Retail food establishments may consider the following alternative procedures to minimize water usage:

1) Commercially-packaged ice may be substituted for ice made on-site

2) Single-service items or disposable utensils may be substituted for reusable dishes and utensils

3) Pre-prepared foods from approved sources may be used in place of complex preparations on-site

4) Restrict menu choices or hours of operation

5) Portable toilets may be made available for sanitary purposes


After “boil water” order is lifted or water service resumes, these precautionary measures must be followed:

1) Run all water lines for one minute to flush contaminated water from system. This includes each fill point for post-mix soda and beverage machines.

2) Clean and sanitize all fixtures, sinks and equipment connected to water lines

3) Run your dishwasher empty through three complete cycles to flush the water lines and assure that the dishwasher is cleaned internally before washing equipment and utensils in it

4) Discard all ice in ice machines; clean and sanitize (1 tablespoon of bleach per gallon of potable water) the interior surfaces; run the ice through 3 cycles; and discard ice with each cycle

5) Replace all ice machine filters and beverage dispenser filters and flush all water lines for 10 to 15 minutes.


Frequently Asked Questions


When is a food permit required in Boone County?

A food permit is required any time food, beverages, or candy…

  • …is offered to the public for consumption.
  • …is given away for free.
  • …is sold.
  • …is served at an event open to the general public, or when tickets for the event are sold to the general public.

An exception to the requirement for a food permit is a temporary food establishment that serves only non-potentially hazardous food/beverages that are pre-packaged (prepared, packed in individual servings, transported and stored under conditions that meet the requirements of the code).


Does my tax exempt / 501(c)(3) organization need a food permit?

Yes. However, if you provide a copy of your organization's Illinois Department of Revenue E-tax number or 501(c)(3), you will not be charged for your food permit application. You must still apply for a food permit from the Health Department.


Can I prepare food in my home and give it away or sell it?

Most of the time the answer is “NO.” However there are a few exceptions. Please call the Health Department.


When is a food permit not required in Boone County?

A food permit is not required when food is distributed to a select group of individuals, such as members of an organization or at a private party (invitation only, not advertised for the public to attend)


How soon before a temporary event do I need to obtain a food permit?

5 business days prior to the event. Please note that the Health Department Offices are not open for business during the weekend.


What happens if I don’t get a permit in time before an event?

Failure to submit an application and fee at least 5 business days prior to the event may result in a late fee or denial of permit request.


When do I need to have food certification?

The answer to this question is complex. Please call the Health Department.


How or where do I get food certification?

To get “food certified”, you must take a 16 hour State authorized class and then pass a State food certification exam. Some places that offer classes are:


Where can I take a class to renew my certification?

To keep your food certification current, you must take a 6 hour class at least once before your 5-year certification expires. BCHD no longer offers food certification refresher classes. Please call one of the above companies for refresher classes.


Is my out-of state food certification valid in Illinois?

Illinois does not recognize out-of-state food certification.


What are the requirements for my temporary food stand? (i.e. cleaning, temperatures, stand construction, handwashing, etc.)

Temporary food stand brochure

Temporary food stand brochure - En Español


How long are food permits good for?

  • Temporary Permit – 14 consecutive days at one location
  • Mobile Permit – from date of issuance through December 31
  • Seasonal Permit – one consecutive 6 month period within the calendar year at a fixed-site location
  • Annual Permit – January 1 (or date of issuance) through December 31 at a fixed-site establishment