Food Establishments

Bismarck’s Environmental Health Division license and inspects all food establishments located in Bismarck. “Food establishment” means an operation that stores, prepares, packages, serves, vends or otherwise provides food for human consumption. Food establishments typically include: restaurants, bakeries, bars, gas stations, discount/dollar stores, hotel/motels, temporary food setups and mobile food units. It is unlawful to operate a food establishment in Bismarck without food license.

Submission of Plans
Whenever a food establishment is constructed, extensively remodeled, or an existing structure is converted to use as a food establishment, properly prepared plans and specifications for such construction, remodeling, or conversion must be submitted to the department for review and approval before construction, remodeling, or conversion is begun. The plans and specifications must indicate the intended menu, anticipated volume of food to be stored, prepared, and sold or served, proposed layout, arrangement, mechanical plans, and construction materials of work areas, and the types and models of proposed fixed equipment and facilities. The department shall approve the plans and specifications if they meet the requirements of this chapter. No food establishment may be constructed, extensively remodeled, or converted except in accordance with plans and specifications approved by the department.

Plans must be submitted for all mobile food units. Once the plans have been approved you can either begin construction on the unit or begin to make plans to bring the mobile unit into the city of Bismarck.

A plan review by the department generally takes 7-10 days. After the review is conducted you will be notified if your submitted plans meet requirements or not.

Food and Beverage Service Establishment Requirements
Food Code
Food License Types
Food service License – allows operators to process and sell food from a fixed location, such as restaurant or grocery store. Note: there are multiple food service license sub-types and an operator may need more than one based on their menu and operations (i.e.: a grocery store that has a deli and bakery will need a retail food license, food establishment license and a bakery food license).

How to Apply for a Food service License
Food service License Application

Temporary Food License – allows operators to sell ready to eat food ONLY at community spirited events that are inspected by Bismarck’s Environmental Health Division.

Temporary Food Requirement

How to Apply for a Temporary Food License
Temporary Food License Application

Mobile Food License – allows operators to sell ready to eat food from a mobile food unit 24/7. Note: mobile food vendors may sell food at community spirited events as well. Mobile food units are required to operate from a commissary (i.e.: licensed kitchen).

Mobile Food Requirement

How to Apply for Mobile Food License
Mobile Food License Application

Temporary Retail Food License – allows operators to sell a commercially processed, potentially hazardous food (i.e.: a food that requires refrigeration) with the intent that the customer will be prepare and consume the food off site.

How to Apply for a Temporary Retail Food License
Temporary Retail Food License Application

Food borne Information
Food borne illness facts: The attached link to the ND Department of Health provides information regarding food borne history in North Dakota. It also has helpful links to hand washing practices.