The Minnesota Department of Agriculture interacts with numerous other agencies. During the plan review process it is the applicant's responsibility to provide evidence of compliance with state and local requirements to include the following:

Plumbing/Waste Disposal:

The Minnesota Plumbing Code requires plans and specifications to be submitted to the Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry (DLI) or delegated local agency and approved prior to construction of any new plumbing system. This also includes prior to any change to an existing plumbing system serving a public or commercial building. Plumbing plans must be submitted by a Minnesota licensed plumber to DLI at Department of Labor and Industry, Plumbing Plan Review and Inspection, 443 Lafayette Road North, St. Paul, MN 55155-4343.

See the DLI plumbing plan review application and submittal instructions. Your plumbing and/or waste disposal plans must be approved by the appropriate regulatory agency prior to receiving a license from the Minnesota Department of Agriculture. In areas that do not have a local inspection department or building official, plumbing inspections are conducted by a DLI plumbing inspector.

Mechanical Requirements

Some cooking equipment requires a commercial kitchen hood ventilation system designed to capture and remove contaminates such as grease laden vapors, smoke, fumes, excessive heat, steam, condensation, odors, etc. Commercial kitchen ventilation systems must meet the requirements of the Minnesota Mechanical Code. Hoods shall be Type I or Type II based on the equipment and activities in the facility. The commercial kitchen ventilation hood and installation must be approved by the building official. In areas that do not have a local building official, the ventilation plans and specifications must be prepared by a Minnesota licensed professional engineer or architect and submitted to the Minnesota Department of Agriculture, the regulatory authority. The licensed engineer or architect of record is responsible for the final inspection and ensuring compliance with the applicable mechanical code requirements.

A plumbing review is required for all projects that take place within a food establishment. The five-fixture exemption does not apply to any licensed food establishments by the MDA.

Well Approval

If the facility is providing water through a well, it must be installed by a licensed well driller and certified by the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH). Contact the Minnesota Department of Health, Well Management Unit, at 651-201-4600 for well construction and water quality compliance verification. 

If a food establishment is moving into a location that has an existing well an evaluation must take place of the well construction. This involves an onsite review of the location of the existing well and surrounding features as well as an office review of how the well was constructed. The MDA works in tandem with the MDH on this evaluation but the final determination on the well construction is made by the MDH Well Management.

Septic Approval

If a septic system is used for the facility, it must be approved by the appropriate regulatory authority. A current Certificate of Compliance provides evidence of septic system compliance. Contact your county for information on how to verify septic system compliance and obtain a current Certificate of Compliance.

Zoning Approval

The facility must meet all associated zoning codes from the local authority.

Building Permit

All associated building codes must be complied with and a building permit must be approved by the building official prior to licensing. The State Building Code is the standard that applies statewide for the construction, reconstruction, alteration, repair, and use of buildings and other structures.


If the retail food establishment you are constructing or remodeling is a restaurant, please contact the plan review team prior to submitting your application. Typically plan reviews for restaurants are handled by the Minnesota Department of Health or their delegated agencies, and not the Minnesota Department of Agriculture but there are a few scenarios in which your plans would be reviewed by the Department of Agriculture.

Delegated Agencies

Some local municipalities have been given or delegated the authority to conduct inspections and plan reviews. If the retail food establishment is located in Ramsey or Hennepin County, the cities of Bloomington, Brooklyn Park, Minnetonka, Minneapolis, or Saint Cloud, it will be licensed by the local agency. Depending on where the retail food establishment is located, the plan review may be handled by the county or city and not the Minnesota Department of Agriculture. Refer to the 'Resources' tab for more information regarding the delegated agencies.

Note: The following cities are not delegated and plan reviews are conducted by the Minnesota Department of Agriculture: Saint Paul, Crystal, Edina, Golden Valley, Hopkins, Maplewood, New Brighton, Richfield, Saint Louis Park, and Wayzata.