Checklist for serving food

Are you opening a food-serving restaurant or bar? Many restauranteers are the DIY type. To be sure you pass the health department inspections relating to food service establishments, you can use this handy checklist of requirements.

___1. Valid permit (Submit completed application form) and pay permit fee

  • Include Worker’s Compensation & Disability Insurance verification
  • Complete food worker certification class or provide required documentation of certification

___ 2 . Plan Approval (New or Remodeled Establishments only)

  • Submit drawings of plans prior to construction
  • Complete Plan Approval Form and pay plan approval fee

___ 3. Schedule an opening inspection with County Health Department inspector

___ 4. Sinks

  • Three bay stainless steel sink with drain boards
  • Stainless steel vegetable prep sink with indirect/open drain
  • Separate hand sink with soap and paper towels
  • Mop sink with back flow prevention valve at water source

___ 5. Refrigeration

  • Commercial refrigeration only, no home type coolers
  • Shelves must be rust free, no painted shelves
  • Thermometers in each unit

___ 6. Storage

  • No bare wood
  • Shelving units must be 6” off floor or sealed to floor
  • All cleaning chemicals must be stored away from food storage

___ 7. Lighting

  • Bright lighting (30 foot candles) in washing, preparation, storage and coolers
  • Properly shielded or rough coated bulbs

___ 8. Walls and floors

  • Walls must be washable, no bare wood or unfinished drywall
  • Floors must be smooth and cleanable, concrete surfaces must be sealed

___ 9. Bathrooms

  • Soap & paper towels at hand sink
  • Doors must be self closing
  • Ventilation required

___ 10. Plumbing and water supply

  • Indirect/ open drains on vegetable prep sinks, bar ice sinks, ice machines, and coolers
  • Potable water must be directly plumbed into facility
  • Private water (wells) must be approved by the Health Department and tested quarterly
  • Onsite sewage disposal (septic systems) must be approved by the Health Department

___ 11. Salad bars or other displays of food for service require a sneeze guard

___ 12. Ice cream cabinet require a properly plumbed dip well

___ 13. Garbage dumpster must be adequate, leak proof, non-absorbent, vermin proof and covered

___ 14. Doors to the outside must have a screen or be kept closed

___ 15. Other

  • Bleach or approved sanitizer must be available for use
  • Stem thermometer (0-220° F)

See the NYS State Sanitary Code Subpart 14-1 for more details


If you need assistance working with the permitting process, contact our team of restaurant focused professionals. We’ll put our experience to work for your new business and get you earning money soon.