We are in Safe Start Phase 2. Read our press release.

Questions about COVID-19? Visit our COVID-19 pages.

We suspended most in-person services. Read our blog post.

187 Drinking Water Permitting-Understanding Floor Plans_Color

Opening or Operating a Food Business

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You may experience a delay in services like application processing and approvals. More than 60 Health Department staff are activated in response to COVID-19, working to keep Pierce County healthy.

We suspended in-person services. Questions? Call (253) 798-6460.

New business, new owner or making changes to an existing food business?

We can help.

Through plan review, we make sure you have the equipment and processes needed to make safe food. It's an important and required step to operate a food business.

Before you turn in your application.

How to apply.

We have 1 application for new businesses, change of menu or equipment and remodels. Submit a completed application with plan review fee (non-refundable).

To get started:

  1. Complete a Plan Review Packet.
  2. Complete additional forms if you will have catering, vending or a mobile food unit.
  3. Submit your packet, forms and plan review fee payment by mail or online through Envision Connect Online (you'll need to set up an account and password).

How long will the process take?

You must get your application to us at least 30 days before you plan to open. We usually respond within 10 days with an approval or to ask more questions. During busy times, it may take longer.

What happens once I’m approved?

We will email an approval letter to you and the Building Department. The letter will state which permit you need and the permit fee you must pay. Once you are ready to open:

  • Pay your permit fee.
  • Schedule a pre-opening inspection at least 5 business days before your food business will open.


Call (253) 798-4711. We're available Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.


Interested in City of Tacoma's Curbside Cafe Program?

Visit City of Tacoma's website for details. Your curbside cafe must follow all Phase 2 requirements for food establishments.

If all of the following are true—you don't need additional Health Department approval to participate.

  • Your facility has a valid food establishment permit.
  • Added seats are within your permit category.
  • All food is prepared in your approved kitchen.
  • Restrooms with hot and cold water are available in your facility.
  • Your facility is on City of Tacoma water and sewer.

If any of the above aren't true—you will need Health Department approval to participate. Call us at (253) 798-4711 for more information.

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