The Food and Feed Safety Division is responsible for licensing and inspections of permanent and mobile retail food establishments, wholesale food handlers, wholesale food processor/manufacturers and food brokers that predominantly make and sell prepackaged food. Please use the links below to find more information about each license type.
Some food businesses are excluded or exempt from licensing, including cottage food producers. Please visit food license exclusions and exemptions for more information.
If you want to open a new food business and don't know where to start, try the Food Licensing and Food Safety Wizard.
If you have further questions, please fill out the pre-consultation questionnaire for a referral to the MDA Licensing Liaison.
If you currently own a licensed food business and want to expand, remodel, or relocate your existing business, want to sell your existing business, or want to begin the licensing process, please call 651-201-6081 or email MDA.FoodLicensingLiaison@state.mn.us.
If you need a license for a restaurant, bar, or food stand that primarily prepares foods or beverages onsite, intended for immediate consumption (like hot foods or sandwiches and beverages), please contact the Minnesota Department of Health for assistance at 651-201-4500 or email@example.com.
Food License Types:
- Retail Food Handler (Brick-and-mortar food establishments that predominantly sell prepackaged food to be consumed by the customer off site. Some examples of food establishments the MDA licenses and inspects are grocery stores, convenience stores, bakeries, meat markets, wineries, brewery taprooms, and vending machines.)
- Retail Mobile Food Handler (Mobile Food Unit, Seasonal Temporary Food Stand, Special Event Food Stand, or Retail Food Vehicle/Portable Structure/Cart that predominantly sells prepackaged foods and beverages, baked goods, popcorn, cotton candy, nuts, candy, or snow cones/shaved ice.)
- Apply online for a Special Event Food Stand license
- Wholesale Food Handler
- Wholesale Food Processor/Manufacturer
- Food Broker
- Wholesale Food Processor/Manufacturer- USDA
- Food Licensing and Food Safety Wizard - the first step to starting a new food business