Food Facilities

What We Do

  • We conduct inspections where food is eaten, processed, sold, or stored for sanitation and food safety. These include restaurants, markets, schools, food trucks, temporary events, soft serve machines, etc.
  • We permit food businesses who register with EHS and follow the food safety procedures outlined in the California Retail Food Code.
  • We investigate complaints of suspected foodborne illnesses, unsanitary conditions, and other health related concerns. If you believe you got sick from a food facility, please submit a foodborne illness complaint.

California Retail Food Code

Many of us buy food, eat at restaurants, and enjoy the different types of cultural cuisines in our County. The California Retail Food Code is a portion of the California Health and Safety Code used by local agencies, industries, and consumers to ensure that the people who handle and sell food are following procedures and processes to keep our food safe from contamination.

The Retail Food Inspection Guide serves as a reference booklet and an educational tool for inspectors and food facility operators. This guide provides information on common terms used in the California Retail Food Code (Cal Code) and the San Bernardino County Code (SBCC) to assist in understanding violations. The California Code Official Inspection Report is used to document the violations observed in the facility and to calculate the final score/grade based on those violations. To view an example of the inspection report or to learn more about our food facility inspections, view the link below.

People talking in front of a food truck

Mobile Food Facility

What We Do

  • We inspect trailers, trucks and compact mobile food operations where food is being stored, prepared, cooked, dispensed, and portioned for food safety and sanitation.
  • We review plans and inspect construction for trailers, trucks and compact mobile food operations (CMFOs).
  • Investigate complaints of suspected foodborne illnesses, unsanitary conditions, operating outside of the scope of their permit and other imminent health risks.
  • Provide consultations for transfer of ownerships.
Determine Your Permit

View the flowchart below to help you find out what health permit you need.

Once you have determined the health permit you need, complete the requirements for your food operation before you submit the health permit application.

Keep reading below to see details about each type of Mobile Food Facility (MFF) operation.

Food Vehicle (Truck/Trailer)

A food vehicle is a type of motorized, or nonmotorized conveyance towed by a motorized vehicle, usually occupied by a worker and is usually a truck or a trailer. Depending on the approved plans and health permit, extensive food preparation may be conducted. This type of operation has the most health and safety requirements including its own power source, mechanical refrigeration, and multiple sinks with hot and cold running water. It also allows for expanded food production and full preparation of food. This gives vendors the most options to selling or giving away food. (CalCode Chapter 10)

An approved plan from the Plan Check program, a valid health permit, an Authorization for Use of Restroom Form, and an approved commissary agreement are required for all food vehicles where food is prepared, or potentially hazardous food is being sold or given away. All of these must be obtained prior to operation. 

Cart/Compact Mobile Food Operation (CMFO)

MFF – Compact Mobile Food Operation Permit

Senate Bill 972 (SB 972) provides a new option known as the Compact Mobile Food Operation (CMFO) for mobile food facility street vendors. This is a specialized cart that requires a consultation with our Plan Check program, and a valid health permit where food is prepared, or potentially hazardous food is being sold or given away.

A Compact Mobile Food Operation (CMFO) is a mobile food facility that operates from a person or from a pushcart, stand, display, pedal-driven cart, wagon, showcase, rack, or other nonmotorized transport. CMFOs can conduct limited food preparation of nonpotentially hazardous and potentially hazardous food. Meat cannot be cooked from the raw state. Health and safety requirements will vary based on the menu and the type of operation. Multiple sinks and mechanical refrigeration may not be required.  (CalCode Chapter 11.7)

An approved plan from the Plan Check program, a valid health permit, a Authorization for Use of Restroom Form, and an approved commissary agreement are required for all CMFOs where food is prepared, or potentially hazardous food is being sold or given away. All of these must be obtained prior to operation. 

MFF- Standard Food Cart Permit

A Standard Food Cart is a type of mobile food facility which is a nonmotorized transport. These carts can prepare food beyond the definition of limited food preparation. Meat can be cooked from the raw state. Health and safety requirements will vary based on the operation. Multiple sinks with hot and cold running water and mechanical refrigeration are usually required. (CalCode Chapter 10)

An approved plan from the Plan Check program, a valid health permit, a Authorization for Use of Restroom Form, and an approved commissary agreement are required for all CMFOs where food is prepared, or potentially hazardous food is being sold or given away. All of these must be obtained prior to operation. 

Food warehouse

Wholesale Food Facilities

What We Do

  • We inspect places where food is stored, cooked, baked, mixed, roasted, portioned, assembled, processed, packaged, bottled, canned, manufactured, salvaged, including beer, wine, alcoholic beverages, and ice for food safety and sanitation.
  • Investigate complaints of suspected foodborne illnesses, unsanitary conditions and other immediate health risks.
  • Review plans and inspect construction for wholesale facilities and provide consultations for transfer of ownerships.

Wholesale food facilities include:

Processors, warehouse/distribution centers, cold storage food facilities, food salvagers, food carts and food vehicle commissaries.

SB 1383/Charitable Feeding Operations/Food Recovery  

What We Do

A Limited-Service Charitable Feeding Operations (LSCFOs)  are charitable operations that provide small-scale/limited food preparation and serving, specifically to feed those in need. Prior to the passage of AB 2178, laws for LSCFOs required that these organizations apply for a full environmental health permit, pay annual fees and build their kitchens to the same standard as a restaurant commercial kitchen.

AB 2178 now allows these organizations to register and abide by the Best Management Practices (BMPs) of their major food bank partner (if they have one) or that of the Environmental Health Services (EHS) in lieu of an operating permit.

Learn How your Facility can Donate Food

Did you know that in the United States 40% of food produced goes uneaten? That is 62.5 million tons of wasted food every year. Meanwhile, there were 42.2 million people, including 13.1 million children, who did not have enough food to lead a healthy, active lifestyle in 2015. While reducing hunger in the US will require addressing the root causes of poverty, donations of wholesome, fresh food can be an important strategy to addressing the immediate needs of millions of Americans.

You can help reduce food loss, and feed those in need by donating your surplus food. Donors are protected under the Federal Bill Emerson Good Samaritan Food Donation Act and the California Good Samaritan Food Donation Act (AB 1219).

The benefits of donating surplus food include, but are not limited to: Community investment and support, corporate image, tax incentives, reduced impact on local landfills, the environment, the planet, and strategy to meet state mandates such as AB 1826.

Charitable Feeding Operations Training Module

Volunteers and staff who handle food for charitable feeding operations are encouraged to take this Charitable Feeding Operations food safety training module. This free course is intended to train the public on how to keep food safe and prevent the spread of foodborne illness. Training is available in English and Spanish and the course is 22 minutes long. This module will not provide you with a Food Handler Card. Please refer to the Food Handler Training and Test to obtain an official Food Handler Card.  

Food Establishment Donor Survey

The purpose of this survey is to learn about current food recovery and food waste reduction efforts and struggles throughout San Bernardino County. Your establishment’s feedback will help us identify barriers and opportunities, and how Public Health can help.

Limited Service Charitable Feeding Operations Requirements

A cottage kitchen with tulips on a center island

Cottage Food Operations

What We Do

A Cottage Food Operation is an enterprise at a private home where certain nonpotentially hazardous food products are prepared and packaged for sale to consumers. This type of food facility only allows for one full time employee and there are two types of permits:

  • Class A – allows for direct sales with a $75,000 cap per year.
  • Class B – allows for both direct and indirect sales with a $150,000 cap per year.


  • Food Handler’s card
  • Cottage Food Operations Health Permit
  • Food label with ingredients for food items

Temporary Food Facilities & Community Events

Temporary Event Health Permit Is For:

  • Temporary food facility (TFF) vendors
  • TFF event organizers
  • Temporary body art vendors
  • Temporary body art event organizers
Fruits and vegetables at a farmer's market

Other Food Facilities

Beginning January 2015, all youth sports snack bar operations that prepare, sell and/or distribute food to the public will have to be inspected and permitted by Environmental Health Services (EHS). Per the California Health & Safety Code §113713, EHS is the responsible agency for enforcing all food protection laws of the state within the County of San Bernardino. Operations at snack bars must meet applicable state requirements to ensure food handling practices are performed in a safe manner.

A Community Food Producer includes any:

  • Culinary, community, personal, or school gardens
  • Egg producers that supply produce or eggs to food operations or directly to the public and are regulated by Environmental Health Services

Community food producers may sell or provide whole, uncut fruits or vegetables or unrefrigerated shell eggs directly to the public, to a permitted restaurant or a Cottage Food Operation if they meet all requirements imposed.

  • Egg production is limited to 15 dozen eggs per month.

The purpose of these guidelines is to help minimize microbial food safety hazards for fresh produce. By using Best Management Practices (BMPs) for California Small Farm Food Safety as described by the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA).

The BMP documents can be found in the California Small Farm Food Safety Guidelines. All Community Food Producers are required to complete the Community Food Producer Registration Form below and return it to EHS.

A Shared Kitchen facility is a commercial kitchen that allows vendors to prepare their food at an approved and permitted facility. These approved kitchens provide a commercial space for vendors who may be interested in beginning or expanding their business, shared kitchens may be shared by multiple food operations. Currently, there are three registered incubator kitchens in San Bernardino County that operate exclusively as hosts to Shared Kitchen Operators. For more information, please call 800-442-2283.

A micro market is a retail food facility that allows customers to purchase prepackaged fresh foods, fruits, health snacks, and beverages via unattended self-checkout kiosks. Micro markets may be in office buildings or restricted break areas where public access is somewhat restricted. A micro market is serviced on a pre-set schedule to ensure the equipment is cleaned and working properly, and food shelves and refrigerated and/or freezer units are stocked with new products. 

To obtain approval for a micro market, plans must be submitted to the Environmental Health Services (EHS) Plan Check program for review and approval. After plans are approved, an on-site inspection is conducted to determine if a health permit can be issued.

We ensure that vending machines that have potentially hazardous foods are being handled to the standard of the California Retail Food Code. Examples of these include vending machines with ice cream, cold sandwiches, and open cup beverages. If you come across a vending machine that contains potentially hazardous foods and has an expired permit, please call or text us at (800) 442-2283, or submit a complaint. If the vending machine only has prepackaged snacks and sodas, no further action is needed.


Liaison Education and Risk Network (L.E.A.R.N.) classes are free training classes based on the fundamentals of Active Managerial Control and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s five risk factors that lead to foodborne illness. To view upcoming L.E.A.R.N. classes, visit our event calendar.

In addition, persons in charge of a Food Facility are encouraged to take the “Food Safety HELP for Persons in Charge” Course. This training will teach persons in charge how to utilize Active Managerial Control, or how to proactively incorporate food safety practices in their establishments to prevent the spread of foodborne illness. Upon successful completion of this course, participants will receive a certificate of completion and will have the opportunity to obtain and print a variety of food safety posters. 


Senate Bill 20 requires that all chain restaurants (with 20 or more establishments nationwide) provide consumers with nutritional information of calorie content for all standard menu items prepared and sold as part of their establishment. Review the Menu Labeling document for more information.

The sale of raw oysters harvested from the Gulf of Mexico during April 1 through October 31 is restricted in the State of California unless the oysters are treated with a scientifically validated process to reduce Vibrio vulnificus to non-detectable levels (pasteurized). Raw Gulf oysters received during April through October that have not been processed to reduce C. vulnificus to non-detectable levels (pasteurized) are considered adulterated. Retailers receiving and selling raw Gulf oysters harvested during November through March should post the following warning sign.

Raw Oyster Warning Sign (printable for display in food facilities)