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Public Health - Seattle & King County

Food Protection Program

Food Protection Program
401 5th Ave, Suite 1100 | Seattle, WA 98104
Phone: 206-263-9566; Toll-free: 800-325-6165, ext. 3-9566

The Food Protection Program reviews and approves construction plans for retail food establishments in King County; such as restaurants, caterers, grocery stores, school cafeterias and mobile food vehicles. The Food Protection Program also reviews applications for farmer's markets, temporary food booths as well as feeding programs for the needy.


Our Public Health – Seattle & King County food inspectors continue to work in a cooperation with all restaurants in King County. Together, we are a partner with you in providing safe food to the public. Once every couple of years however, there is a rash of incidents involving individuals that are claiming that they are health inspectors when they are not. If you do not recognize your health inspector, ALWAYS ask them for their King County identification. This is especially true now, since all of the inspections areas were rotated at the beginning of 2014, so you should be seeing a new inspector.

This is also permit renewal season. Food permits are valid from April 1st through the following March 31st of each year. You may pay your new permit fee either by:

  • logging on to Public Health's portal system (,
  • mailing in the renewal notice and a check, or
  • paying in person at one of our Environmental Health offices (Downtown Seattle Office – 405 - 5th Avenue, Suite 1100 Seattle, WA 98104 or the Eastgate Office - 14350 SE Eastgate Way Bellevue WA 98007).

Food Worker Cards may be obtained online at

If you have any questions please contact us at either 206-263-9566 (Seattle Office) or 206-296-9791 (Bellevue Office).

Types of food establishments

Select a type of food establishment that best describes your business to learn more about how to obtain a food business permit:

Other types of food establishments
Food worker cards
  • Food worker card class and test
    All employees of a food establishment including cooks, bartenders, servers, hosts, bus persons, etc. are required to obtain a Washington State Food Worker Card. You can take the class and test conveniently online or go to any of our in-person classes.

  • Meat cutter license
    If your job requires the cutting of fresh beef, veal, lamb and/or pork within a meat establishment you will need to pass an exam to obtain a personal occupational Meat Cutter license in addition to the Food Worker Card exam.

Additional resources