Food Protection for Businesses
The Food Safety Program is responsible for licensing and inspecting retail food businesses. These include grocery stores, restaurants, bars, delis, convenience stores, vending machines, micromarkets, food carts and all food sold at fairs and festivals. The inspections(PDF, 141KB) are a service provided for the public to ensure the safety of Columbus' food supply.
To begin the process of receiving a license to operate a retail food facility:
- Review our Starting a Food Business Guide(PDF, 790KB)
- Complete and submit a Plan Review Application(PDF, 392KB) or Micromarket Plan Review Application(PDF, 242KB), with your facility plans and a review fee.
- If you would like to submit your plans electronically, please review this guide to Submitting Food Business Plans and Application Electronically(PDF, 48KB).
We will assist you with the layout of the facility, the equipment you will need and the food preparation processes required to be able to serve a safe food product to your customers.
Change of Ownerships
All change of ownerships are required to submit application and go through plan review. This is required even if no changes have been made to the existing facility. The following is a link to the change of ownership packet(PDF, 376KB) that is required to be filled out and submitted prior to scheduling licensing inspection
Training & Workshops
Any individual who is employed in a food establishment and works with food is encouraged to learn about food safety. Our workshops are designed to promote proper food handling that prevents foodborne illness.
Assists with the layout of the mobile food operation(PDF, 2MB) , the equipment needed and the food preparation processes required to be able to serve safe food products to the community. 2024 Mobile Licensing Checklist(PDF, 313KB) - 2024 Spanish Mobile Licensing Checklist(PDF, 604KB)
Licenses and inspects all temporary food locations such as those at fairs and festivals, and makes sure that they comply with the Uniform Food Safety Code.
Food for Childcare Centers
Licenses and inspects the food service portion of childcare facilities. In most situation, childcare facilities will need to obtain a food license if they are supplying a meal, snacks, or beverages. Please see our Food in Childcare Centers FAQ(PDF, 300KB) for more information.
Responsible for the licensing and inspection of all food vending machine locations in the Cities of Columbus and Worthington.
If needed, enforcement measures(PDF, 92KB) are taken to ensure the safety of the food being sold. When critical violations are found during regular inspections or complaint investigations, enforcement actions may be necessary.
Online Inspection Results of Licensed Businesses
Online posting of inspection results is a service provided to inform of the health and safety status of licensed businesses in Columbus and Worthington.
Children's Meal Beverage Requirements
Effective June 16, 2021, a new ordinance was enacted to reduce health risks associated with sugar consumption. The new law requires restaurants to make healthy drinks - water, low-fat milk and 100% fruit juices - the default options offered with restaurant kids' meals. For more information on this ordinance, please review this Children's Meal Beverages information sheet(PDF, 96KB).