Frequently Asked Questions

How do I apply for a restaurant or temporary food service permit?

Permits are issued by the local health department responsible for the area where the food service establishment or temporary food service event is located. Please contact the local health department to apply for a permit:

How do I make food complaint?

Foodborne Illness Complaints

  • All foodborne illness complaints are investigated by local health departments. If you suspect the food you ate at a restaurant or purchased from a store made you ill, please contact your doctor and your local health department:

General Food Complaints

  • General complaints about a restaurant, such as dirty facilities, are investigated by the local health department responsible for the area where the restaurant is located. The New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets investigates general complaints about grocery stores.

Can I sell food made in my home to the public?

  • If you plan to make foods such as certain baked goods, jellies or snack mixes, you may qualify for a Home Processor Exemption. This will allow you to prepare food in your home kitchen for wholesale or retail sale at agricultural farm venues.
  • If you plan prepare and sell foods and are not eligible for an NYS Agriculture and Markets Home Processor Exemption, you will need to obtain a Food Service Establishment permit. Your home kitchen cannot be used; however, a separate kitchen located in your residence may be acceptable.

Can I bring my dog with me to a restaurant?

In New York State, restaurants can allow companion dogs in the outdoor dining areas of the restaurant. Companion animals are not permitted in indoor dining or food preparation areas. Section 1352-e of Public Health Law requires restaurant operators to comply with certain restrictions if they allow dogs in their outdoor dining areas.

Note that companion dogs are defined as a domesticated dog accompanying an individual or owner for the purpose of companionship or convenience of such individual or owner, and shall not include guide, hearing, or service dogs. For more information on service animals in food service establishments, please visit the Americans with Disabilities Act website.

Other Questions?