Bubble with the letters FAQ inside

Frequently asked questions as it relates to submitting facility plans and common questions during the review process. If you do not find the answer you are looking for reach out directly to the plan review team.

Submittal Questions

Plans are reviewed in the order they are received. When your plan is up for review, you will be contacted by phone or email. The review of most plans is underway within about 30 days. An email will be sent when the plan review is complete. 

When submitting your plan review application, be sure to include all necessary documents initially. Incomplete or missing documentation will delay the review process. Have a single point of contact for your project. If the plan reviewer has to discuss the plan with multiple people, it can also delay the review process. Being prepared to answer any questions the MDA has in a timely manner will also help the complete the review more quickly.

A plan review application and required documents must be submitted at least 30 days prior to the construction or remodeling of a retail food establishment, or adding or replacing equipment. We recommend that you submit your completed plan review application as soon as it is complete. Plans are reviewed in the order they are received. Depending on the volume of submitted plans, reviews may take longer than 30 days.

No. Equipment review is a critical component of the overall review. Plans received without equipment information are incomplete and will not be reviewed until the information is received.

Typically, if the change in ownership doesn’t include a change in menu, food equipment or facilities, plan review application submission isn’t required.

Review Questions

Once you have received a letter by email notifying you that your application submittal is complete, your plans are assigned to a plan review officer and their contact information is provided. Plans are reviewed in the order they are received. When your plan is up for review, you will be contacted by phone or email. The review of most plans is underway within about 30 days. If it has been more than 30 days, you can call the plan review officer directly to check on the status.

This information can be obtained from the manufacturer’s website. You may also obtain equipment specification sheets from the equipment supplier or from an on-line search.

To easily associate the equipment list with the floor plan, assign a number to each piece of equipment on the list. On the floor plan indicate where the equipment is located by using the number on the equipment list.

No. The Minnesota Food Code requires that you submit your plans 30 days before beginning construction. If it has been more than 30 days, you may proceed, but know that you will be required to make changes if the work done is not in compliance with the Minnesota Food Code.

Starting construction prior to approval may result in costly corrections and delayed openings.

No, a licensed plumber is required to do all plumbing work. The plumber must submit plumbing plans to the Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry for review and approval, but in some cases plans can be submitted directly to the local municipality. Visit the Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry’s Plumbing plan review agreements for more information.

Contact information for your local inspector is provided in your Notice of Completed Plan Review letter. Advance notice of at least 14 calendar days is required.

Contact the reviewer who signed your letter. If you have not received your final/licensing inspection, the revisions can simply be considered part of your original submittal and undergo a review. If you have already had your final inspection, contact the reviewer to discuss the revisions. A determination will be made at that time whether or not you will be required to resubmit plans.

Contact the Minnesota Department of Health, Well Management Unit, at 651-201-4600 for well construction and water quality compliance verification. Approved well construction and water quality compliance must be verified, prior to licensing. Include a copy of the well log or unique well number with your plan review submittal.

A current Certificate of Compliance must be provided to verify the sewage treatment system is in compliance with Minnesota Rules. Contact the county, city, or township to find out how to obtain the Certificate of Compliance and submit it with your plan review documents.

Typically a retail plan review is required whenever a food establishment is conducting any retail operation. There are very few instances when a retail plan review may not be required. If your establishment will have both retail and manufactured foods, please call our plan review team at 651-201-6194 to determine if a retail plan review is required.

Taprooms are the same as bars and both are regulated by the Minnesota Food Code.

Yes, a menu must consist of any food and beverages being sold, even if the only items being sold are beverages. Menus must also provide details on how the food is being handled, prepared, or if it is received and sold prepackaged. The more food service and handling your establishment conducts, the more detailed the menu should be.