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Food Safety for Industry


DHEC issues these three types of food service permits*:

  • Retail Food Establishment Permit
    • $60 fee to receive permit inspection
    • Annual inspection fee on a sliding scale, $60 - $270, depends on gross sales
    • For all establishments classified as a Retail Food Service Establishment.
  • Temporary Food Service Permit
    • Free
    • For food service connected with a fair, carnival, special promotion or similar event
    • Operating at a fixed location
    • For period of time not to exceed 14 consecutive days.
  • Special Events Permit

Find out if you need a permit

Complete the permit application (pdf)

How to Submit Your Permit Application

*No Pre-Permit Food Preparation/Service Allowed

DHEC will not issue a permit for your retail food establishment until your facility is 100 percent compliant with all requirements of our state's food safety regulations.

This means you are not allowed to conduct pre-opening food preparation in your facility or a 'Friends and Family' type Grand Opening prior to issuance of your Retail Food Establishment permit from DHEC. If we learn that your facility has prepared food for customer service prior to issuance of a Retail Food Service Permit, you will be issued a notice of violation and will be subject to enforcement action.

Requests to have food products delivered to a facility or to allow cooking for the purpose of testing/training prior to issuance of permit are considered on a case-by-case basis. When we do allow testing/training cooking prior to issuance of a permit, all food products that you open and/or use for this purpose, including bulk foods, will have to be discarded prior to issuance of the permit.