Food, Pools, and Lodging Services (FPLS)
The Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) must approve food service and lodging plans before new construction or remodeling may begin. Construction may begin after you receive the plan review approval report.
Examples of situations that require a plan review
New construction: Building that is newly constructed or existing building that has never been licensed as a food establishment by MDH.
Extensive remodeling: Addition or change to the building, a major equipment addition, or the addition of equipment due to a menu change of a food establishment. Extensive remodeling does not include redecorating, cosmetic refurbishing, altering seating design or reducing seating capacity.
Mobile Food Unit, Seasonal Temporary Food Stand, Seasonal Permanent Food Stand, Food Cart: Individuals or groups interested in operating a MFU, STFS, SPFS or a Food Cart. Note: The menu and location of operation will be used to determine which agency is responsible for plan review, licensing, and inspection.
Areas of review:
- Kitchens, bars, buffets, salad bars, wait stations, beverage dispensing, condiment counters
- Warewashing, mop sink areas, hood/ventilation, plumbing fixtures, storage rooms, refuse areas, employee restrooms, outdoor bars/beverage service
- Housing with services establishments (contact regulatory authority), memory care, 10 & under board and lodging
Plan submittal Requirements
Foodservice Construction Guides
- Food Establishment Construction Guide (PDF)
For specific information concerning the construction or remodeling of any permanent foodservice facility.
- Mobile Food Unit, Seasonal Temporary Food Stand and Seasonal Permanent Food Stand Construction Guide (PDF)
For specific information concerning the construction or remodeling of any mobile food unit and seasonal temporary food stand and seasonal permanent food stand.
Plan Review Applications
- New Construction (PDF)
- Remodel or Addition (PDF)
- Temporary/Seasonal (PDF)
Use this application for mobile food unit, seasonal permanent food stand, seasonal temporary food stand, food cart
For information on mobile food units, food carts, seasonal temporary or permanent food stands, special event food stands, bed and breakfast and lodging.
Plumbing plans need to be submitted to a separate department:
When will my plans be reviewed?
Plans are reviewed in the order they are received. Once your plan comes up for review you will be contacted by a plan reviewer either by phone or email. After the review is finished, you will be sent a letter reporting the findings of the review. Starting construction prior to approval may result in costly corrections and delayed openings.
MDH is responsible for determining what meets code and standards for construction and materials. For new construction, food may not be brought into the establishment and food preparation may not take place until plans have been reviewed and approved by MDH.
Some remodeling projects may require the facility to close during construction. Please consult with MDH for guidance.
What comes next?
In addition to the plan review fee, there is a separate license fee. An application for license will be sent to you from sanitarian/plan reviewer. Prior to requesting an opening inspection, the license fee must be paid.
MDH plan reviewers/sanitarians may make on-site inspections of the facility during construction/remodeling or equipment installation. Please contact us 14 days prior to the intended opening date to schedule an opening inspection. The license applications and fees must be paid and an opening inspection conducted prior to being given approval to operate.