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Licensing and inspections

Who will license your food business?

The Oregon Department of Agriculture (ODA) is the government agency that licenses and inspects all food establishments except restaurants and caterers. The Food Safety Program of ODA licenses retail grocery stores, bakeries, meat processors, egg handlers, food processors, food storage warehouses, licensed domestic kitchens, beverage processors, locker plants, dairy farms, dairy processors and shellfish and seafood handlers.  In addition to being licensed by ODA, wholesale meat firms must also be under USDA inspection (503-399-5831). Restaurants and caterers are licensed and inspected by County Health Departments under the direction of the Oregon Health Authority (OHA). These licenses are required in addition to any business licenses or permits required by cities or other agencies.
 
A business that is both a restaurant and another type of food business, such as a grocery store with a hot food deli, is called a combination facility. A combination facility will be licensed and inspected by either the Oregon Department of Agriculture (ODA) or the local County Health Department, but not both. The part of the business which accounts for the largest portion of the food sales in dollar amount will determine which agency licenses the firm. A business that is mostly a grocery store, with some food service will be licensed by ODA Food Safety Program, and a restaurant that sells a small amount of packaged foods will be licensed by the County Health Department. If a new business is not sure which will be the largest source of sales, the business will have to decide based on their best estimate.
 
Additional information:
OHA website
USDA contact information
ODA food program information
ODA dairy program information
ODA seafood program information
ODA shellfish program information
 

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Issuing a license

License renewal
A license is issued from the ODA Food Safety Program, Salem office when the license is a renewal. The information on the renewal form needs to be reviewed by the business owner and changes to the gross annual sales and license fees should be made as needed. The renewal form provides instructions on submitting fees. Once the renewal form and fees have been mailed to ODA, a new license will be issued to the firm.

Buying an existing food business
When a business that is currently licensed by the ODA Food Safety Program is sold to another firm, the new firm must contact our Salem office to obtain a license application, and copies of the laws and rules if needed. No remodeling shall be done without prior approval of plans (see Plan Review Requirements). The laws and rules can also be accessed on this web site. Complete the application and send the application and the correct license fee to Oregon Department of Agriculture as described below. Shortly after the application and fees are returned to ODA, a license will be mailed to the business and must be posted in the business. If you are starting a new business or moving to a new location, you must obtain ODA approval before starting operations there. The Salem office will provide contact information for the ODA employee who will give the approval. If the existing food business was licensed by the local County Health Department, contact the Health Department for more information.

Instruction for submitting license application and fees:
  • The applicant may mail the completed application with a check to Oregon Department of Agriculture, PO Box 4395, Unit 17, Portland OR 97208-4395.
  • The applicant may mail or fax the completed application with credit card information and signature to Oregon Department of Agriculture, Attn:Licensing, 635 Capitol Street NE, Salem OR 97301-2532 or fax 503-986-4746. The inspector does not fill out a receipt for a credit card payment.
  • The inspector may collect the application with a check. A receipt will be issued when taking a check. The Food Safety Program does not collect cash or applications with credit card information.
  • As described in Oregon Revised Statutes 616.705, "each license issued by the Food Safety Program of the Oregon Department of Agriculture expires on June 30 next following its date of issuance."
  • All businesses must pay a full year´s license fee, regardless of the time of year they begin operation. However, when new license applications are submitted between May 15 and June 30, fees will be charged only for the following year, and the license becomes effective upon receipt of those fees.

Starting a new food business
The first step in starting a new food business is to contact the Oregon Department of Agriculture, Food Safety Program to obtain the name and phone number of the local inspector whom you must contact before starting construction. Review the appropriate laws and rules for your business, and then call your inspector who will answer any additional questions. The inspector will ask you to submit plans for review. See plan review requirements - English or plan review requirements - Spanish. These plans will help them determine if your business will meet the requirements before you start spending money on construction and equipment purchases.
 
Oregon law requires that state agency activities related to land use be consistent with local comprehensive plans in accordance with ORS 197.180.  The Oregon Department of Agriculture (ODA)  does not verify that ODA licenses and other approvals that affect land use are consistent with the local government comprehensive plan. ODA license holders are legally obligated (OAR 660-031-0026) to ensure that they comply with any land use requirements.  This form provides ODA with a written record that the licensee understands his/her responsibility. See LUCS form.​​​
 
There is no charge for plan review or preliminary consultations. A week or two before you want to open, call your inspector again, and arrange for an approval inspection. When the inspector gives the approval, he or she will also give you a license application to fill out and return along with the appropriate license fee. Licenses issued to new applicants must originate with the inspector. The application is signed and dated by the inspector including filling in the establishment number. Make checks payable to the Oregon Department of Agriculture. The fee may be given to the inspector or the fee and application may be mailed to ODA - mailing instructions are described above under "Buying an existing food business". The inspector will give you the approval inspection report and receipt (if the fees were received by the inspector), which will serve as your license until an official one is mailed to you.
 
A license application is presented only at the time approval is granted. The Food Safety Program does not issue an application unless the establishment has been inspected and all aspects of the establishment are acceptable. For example, if a private well will be used, a license will not be issued until the system has been tested with acceptable results.

Sharing a common facility

The State Department of Agriculture may issue licenses under ORS 616.695 to 616.755 to one or more additional users of a food establishment that is licensed primarily for operation by another person. A license issued to an additional user of the food establishment shall cover all operations at that establishment by the person licensed. Regardless of the number of persons licensed to use a food establishment, the department may not recognize more than one person as the primary operator of the establishment.

The department may assess a license fee to an additional user of a food establishment.

A recognized primary operator of a food establishment shall notify the department upon the expiration or termination of the rental or lease of the food establishment by an additional user of the establishment. The renting or leasing of a food establishment to a person licensed by the department as an additional user of the establishment or the expiration or termination of use by a person licensed as an additional user of the establishment does not, by itself, constitute the ceasing or discontinuance of operations or business at the food establishment by the primary operator or another additional user.

 


Multiple activities covered by one statute
The state of Oregon issues only one license under a given statute at any establishment location. For example, if a firm both processes foods for wholesale (type 59) and retails food (type 77) and warehouses (78) from the same location, all activities are licensed under ORS 616. The license to issue is based upon the firm´s predominant activity. For example, if the volume of foods manufactured for wholesale distribution is greater than that retailed, a license type 59 is issued.

Transfer of food establishment licenses
Some licensed establishments may relocate without being required to pay additional fees.  However before moving, the new faciltiy must be approved by the Department's Food Safety Specialist.  A Plan Review may be requred and must be approved prior to modification to the facility.  Before moving into the new facility, the Food Safety Specialist must inspect and approve the facility. All licenses are personal and may not be transferred to another person.  
 
Can these license types move from one location to another without pay license fees?
  • Meat Licenses: ORS 603, 619 - No
  • Food Licenses: ORS 616 - Yes
  • Dairy Licenses: ORS 621 (The statute is silent on this issue, therefore it is permitted) - Yes
  • Bakeries: ORS 625 - No
  • Refrigerated Locker Plants: ORS 628 - No
  • Eggs: ORS 632 (The statute is silent on this issue, therefore it is permitted) - Yes
  • Non-Alcoholic Beverage: ORS 635 (The statute is silent on this issue, therefore it is permitted) - Yes

Prohibited or restricted activities
  • Meat Operations - Businesses that make meat products may only sell those products on the premises where they are made unless that business is issued a Grant of Inspection by the United States Department of Agriculture (Federal Government). See related sites for contact information.
  • Seafood HACCP: The US Food and Drug Administration requires a HACCP plan for all seafood processors and importers. See ODA´s seafood program for more information.
  • Foods from unlicensed source: All foods sold must be produced in a business licensed by the ODA or a County Health Department. You must verify that anyone selling foods to you for your business has an ODA or Health Department license. Food produced in other states must be licensed by the responsible agency in that state.
  • Home canned foods: Except for jams and jellies that are processed in a licensed domestic kitchen, sale of home canned foods is absolutely prohibited. Anyone wishing to can foods must first go through a rigorous training and certification process. See food processing under ODA's food program for more information.
  • Acidified foods: Production of a food that is preserved solely by acidification is also restricted and requires training and certification. See food processing under ODA´s food program for more information.
  • Inspected meats: Only USDA inspected meats may be used in the production of foods.

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License fee structure July 1, 2013 - June 30, 2014

RETAIL FOOD FEE SCHEDULE
Retail Food Establishment
License type 77
Annual Gross Sales
Fee
$0 to $50,000
$135
$50,001 to $500,000
$271
$500,001 to $1,000,000
$325
$1,000,001 to $5,000,000
$487
$5,000,001 to $10,000,000
$595
Greater than $10,000,000
$704
 
 
BAKERY FEE SCHEDULES
 
 
Bakery Distributor License
License type 10
 
Fee
Flat Rate Fee
$108
 
 
Bakery License
License type 09
Annual Gross Sales
Fee
$0 to $50,000
$244
$50,001 to $500,000
$379
$500,001 to $1,000,000
$487
$1,000,001 to $5,000,000
$812
$5,000,001 to $10,000,000
$1,082
Greater than $10,000,000
$1,624
 
 
Domestic Kitchen Bakery License
License type 11
Annual Gross Sales
Fee
$0 to $50,000
$152
$50,001 to $500,000
$216
$500,001 to $1,000,000
$325
$1,000,001 to $5,000,000
$487
$5,000,001 to $10,000,000
$649
Greater than $10,000,000
$812
 
 
MEAT FEE SCHEDULES
 
 
Animal Food Processor
License type 37
Meat Sellers License
License type 38
Poultry & Rabbit Slaughter
License type 39
Slaughterhouse License
License type 40
Non-Slaughtering Processor
License type 41
Custom Stationary Slaughter
License type 42
Custom Mobile Slaughter
License type 43
Custom Meat Processing
License type 44
Annual Gross Sales
Fee
$0 to $50,000
$216
$50,001 to $500,000
$271
$500,001 to $1,000,000
$325
$1,000,001 to $5,000,000
$487
$5,000,001 to $10,000,000
$541
Greater than $10,000,000
$704
 
 
Pre-packaged only- Meat sellers
License type 85
Annual Gross Sales
Fee
$0 to $5,000
$108
$5,001 to $50,000
$162
 
$50,001 to $500,000
$271
$500,001 to $1,000,000
$324
$1,000,001 to $5,000,000
$487
$5,000,001 to $10,000,000
$541
Greater than $10,000,000
$704
 
FOOD PROCESSOR FEE SCHEDULES
 
 
Food Processor Establishment
License type 59
Annual Gross Sales
Fee
$0 to $50,000
$325
$50,001 to $500,000
$460
$500,001 to $1,000,000
$541
$1,000,001 to $5,000,000
$704
$5,000,001 to $10,000,000
$812
Greater than $10,000,000
$920
 
 
Domestic Kitchen Food Processor
License type 16
 
Fee
Flat rate fee
$189
 
 
NON-ALCOHOLIC FEE SCHEDULE
 
 
Non-Alcoholic Beverage License
License type 12
Annual Gross Sales
Fee
$0 to $50,000
$162
$50,001 to $500,000
$271
$500,001 to $1,000,000
$379
$1,000,001 to $5,000,000
$595
$5,000,001 to $10,000,000
$704
Greater than $10,000,000
$920
 
 
FOOD STORAGE WAREHOUSE FEE SCHEDULE
 
 
Food Storage Warehouse
License type 78
Annual Gross Sales
Fee
$0 to $50,000
$108
$50,001 to $10,000,000
$135
Greater than $10,000,000
$162
 
 
MILK FEE SCHEDULES
 
 
Fluid Milk Producer
License type 02
Producer-Distributor Grade A
License type 03
Producer-Distributor Grade B
License type 04
Fluid Milk Distributor
License type 05
Non-Processing Distributor Grade A
License type 06
Non-Processing Distributor Grade B
License type 07
Dairy Products Plant
License type 19
Annual Gross Sales
Fee
$0 to $50,000
$135
$50,001 to $500,000
$189
$500,001 to $1,000,000
$325
$1,000,001 to $5,000,000
$487
$5,000,001 to $10,000,000
$649
Greater than $10,000,000
$812
 
 
Contract Milk Hauler
License type 20
 
Fee
Flat rate fee
$25 each
 
 
DAIRY OPERATOR'S LICENSE FEES
 
 
Milk Sampler Grader (expires yearly 6/30)
License type 18
 
Fee
Flat Rate Fee
$25
.  
Vat Pasteurizer (2 year license)
License type 79
 
Fee
Flat rate fee
$50
 
 
HTST Pasteurizer (2 year license)
License type 81
 
Fee
Flat rate fee
$50
 
 
FROZEN DESSERTS
 
 
Wholesale Frozen Dessert Manufacturer
License type 17
 
Fee
Flat rate fee
$60
 
 
EGG FEES
 
 
Egg Handler
License type 13
 
Fee
Flat rate fee*
$25
*additional monthly millage fees may apply
 
 
Egg Breaker
License type 14
 
Fee
Flat rate fee
$75
 
 
REFRIGERATED LOCKER
 
 
Refrigerated Locker Plant
License type 08
 
Fee
Flat rate fee
$100
Half year rate (after January 1)
$50
 
 
SHELLFISH - firms with gross annual income between $0 - $60,000:
Shellfish Shucker - Packer
$150
Shellfish Grower
$100
Shellfish Distributor, Shipper, Wholesaler
$100
Shellfish Commercial Harvester
$75
 
SHELLFISH - firms with gross annual income greater than $60,000:
Shellfish Shucker - Packer
$300
Shellfish Grower
$200
Shellfish Distributor, Shipper, Wholesaler
$225
Shellfish Commercial Harvester
$75

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Inspection

Consultations
ODA Food Safety inspectors will provide consultation on request. When consulting with a firm that is not yet licensed, the inspector will provide a written copy of his or her comments. You will not necessarily receive a report for telephone consultations. When an application is offered, the establishment is assigned a number, and a report is provided.

Initial inspections
Prior to the purchase of an establishment, a sanitarian will inspect a facility at the buyer´s request. If the establishment is new, the sanitarian will review plans, provide consultation, and perform an initial inspection prior to start of business. See plan review requirements - English or plan review requirements - Spanish .
After the establishment has passed the initial inspection, the sanitarian will issue a license application. Upon receipt of application and fees, ODA will issue a license.

Regular or routine inspections
ORS 616 provides that every FSD licensed establishment will be inspected. The type of product offered for sale, the volume of food sold, and the population served by the establishment is used to determine inspection frequency.

Other types of inspections
  • When several critical items have been cited on an inspection, a follow up inspection will be scheduled, to assure that critical risk factors are controlled.
  • If a consumer complaint is filed or a foodborne illness is identified by Oregon Health Authority, it may lead to an investigative inspection.
  • When a major remodeling project is planned, the sanitarian will review plans, and inspect as the remodeling is completed. See plan review requirements - English or plan review requirements - Spanish .
  • Some laws require regular inspections for grading products, testing equipment, or sampling for required attributes, such as % milk fat, etc.

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Oregon Department of Agriculture licenses - a summary of licenses issued by each program area of ODA.
 


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