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Change in Ownership or Food Service

When changes are made to a food service establishment (such as a change of ownership, name, menu, seating or equipment) Environmental Health must give approval. This helps ensure that the changes meet safe food handling practices and updated state and local regulations.

See the Washington State Retail Food Code for a complete list of Food Service requirements in Washington State. Please also see the Washington Department of Health Food Safety Rules and Regulations for a complete list of relevant links.

Change in Ownership

When someone buys or sells a food service establishment, Environmental Health must be notified of the change in order to issue a permit to the new owner. Permits are not transferrable and operating without a permit is against the law.

Change in Food Service

If you are a current owner of an establishment and you wish to update or change the menu, remodel the establishment or add services like a catering component to your operation, a change in service application is required. Use the plan review application packet and expect the 30 day turnaround time for new establishments.


A plan review application packet will be re-submitted for any changes to the establishment. If the physical facility is not changing, but the menu is, submit only the sections relevant to that change. If the menu does not change but the equipment and floor plan does, disregard the menu portion of the form. Please utilize the Plan Review Guidance Manual below when filling out a Change in Ownership or Food Service Plan Review.

If there is a remodel of a food service establishment, increased seating capacity, or a substantial change to the menu, a full plan review must be completed. See the Plan Review Application below.

Printed Change of Food Preparation packets are also available from Environmental Health. Please contact us for copies.


A change in ownership with no other changes will be charged a fee equal to 50% of the plan review fee. This is based on the complexity of the menu. A change in menu or facility only will require a minimum hourly rate of technical assistance.

If the change in service changes the classification of an establishment, the annual permit fee will be adjusted. Once the plan review has been completed, a prorated fee for the new classification will be charged for the remainder of the permit year (July 1-June 30).


It is the responsibility of the buyer to submit the required paperwork and fees to Environmental Health. The seller is encouraged to notify us as well, in case the buyer does not.

Food service operating permits are NOT transferable.

Clallam County Health & Human Services
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