Food Permits

If you are considering purchasing an existing food business, purchasing or becoming a partner in a corporation/company that owns a food business, or building a new food business, the facility must meet current requirements. Please contact the Portsmouth Health Department early in your business development process so that you fully understand Portsmouth Food Service requirements. 

An existing food service facility, even one that has been operating continuously, may require substantial upgrades in order to obtain a permit. A new food service permit is required whenever a food service establishment, or the entity owning that establishment, undergoes any change in ownership of any type. The Portsmouth Health Department is eager to assist you and would be happy to perform a "walk-through", which is a visit to the facility that will identify what needs to be corrected in order for the facility to be permitted to a new owner. This service is free of charge and can usually be scheduled within 2 business days. 

The steps for opening/changing a food related business are outlined in the "New/Renovated Food Establishment Checklist." Additional guidelines and more detailed information can be found in the "Restaurant/Food Service Construction Guide." Follow the instructions carefully and, as always, please contact the Health Department with your questions.

Please note: You may download these forms here, but you must mail or hand deliver completed applications to the Inspections Department. We cannot accept faxed applications.