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Health Department

 

Health

Retail Food Establishment

 

Get licensing information for retail food establishments:  restaurants and retail stores, mobile food establishments or food trucks, and transient food vendors.

 

Restaurants and Retail Stores

If you are opening a food establishment, learn about applying for a license, the plan review and pre-inspection process, and structural/operational requirements from the Wisconsin Food Code.

 

Licensing fees

You must pay a licensing fee to get an annual food and drink license.  The fee is based on risk and food handling complexity.  There is also a one-time plan review and pre-inspection fee which covers the cost of reviewing plans which need to be submitted to us prior to construction, remodeling, or operating.  The fee also covers working with us on equipment installation, proper design and construction of the facility, and on-site evaluation of the facility before issuing the permit.  Call 608-785-9771 or email us at [email protected] for more information.

 

How to get a food and drink license

We process all food and drink applications for La Crosse County.

 

Step 1:  Complete a Plan Review Application and submit that along with the appropriate fees to the La Crosse County Health Department. 

 

Step 2:  Work with your inspector during all phases of construction or remodeling.

 

Step 3:  Schedule an onsite visit prior to operating.

 

Step 4:  Complete a Permit License Application and submit that along with all appropriate fees to the La Crosse County Health Department. 

 

Step 5:  Schedule a final walk-through, pre-licensing inspection with your inspector.

 

Step 6:  After your application and fees are processed and your pre-licensing inspection is completed, you will get your license.

 

If you have any questions, call us at 608-785-9771 or email us at [email protected].

 

Resources

Wisconsin Food Code

Retail Food Establishments Code

 

 

Mobile Food Establishments

We inspect and license all La Crosse County mobile food establishments.

 

Thinking of opening a mobile food establishment?

All La Crosse County mobile food establishments must be licensed and inspected each year.  We do this to make sure they meet all requirements of Wisconsin law related to general public health.

 

Mobile food establishments are like restaurants on wheels.  Many of the same code requirements for restaurants apply to them, including licensing.  It’s important to take the time to fully research your new business before applying for a license.

 

Please contact our office for the following information

New operators are encouraged to review the following materials before purchasing and/or building a mobile food unit:

  • Plan Review Guide
  • Operational Plan
  • Service Base Plan
  • Fresh Water Supply Tank
  • Certified Food Protection Manager

 

How to get your mobile food establishment license

We process all mobile food establishment applications for La Crosse County.

 

Step 1:  Complete a Plan Review Application and submit that along with the appropriate fees to the La Crosse County Health Department. 

 

Step 2:  Work with your inspector during all phases of construction or remodeling.

 

Step 3:  Schedule an onsite visit prior to operating.

 

Step 4:  Complete a Mobile and Transient License Application and submit that along with all appropriate fees to the La Crosse County Health Department. 

 

Step 5:  Schedule a final walk-through, pre-licensing inspection with your inspector.

 

Step 6:  After your application and fees are processed and your pre-licensing inspection is completed, you will get your license.

 

If you have any questions, call us at 608-785-9771 or email us at [email protected].

 

Department of Agriculture Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP) Mobile and Transient Licenses

DATCP Home Mobile and Transient Retail Food Establishments (wi.gov) are now exempt from additional Public Health licensing.  A DATCP license is intended for those who will be operating and selling food or beverages in multiple cities and counties in Wisconsin.  

 

Make sure to always have the current DATCP license with you during food service.  If you can’t show your DATCP license, you may be required to buy a food license from us.

 

We also accept all other Wisconsin county and Wisconsin municipality licenses outside of La Crosse County.  Make sure the license is with you during food service.  If you cannot show the license, you may be required to buy a license from us.

 

Please note:  Even with a DATCP license or other county/municipal license, you may be subject to an inspection and a $95 inspection fee from us.

 

If you will only be operating in La Crosse County, you are required to get the annual mobile license through us.

 

Transient Food Vendors

Annual temporary food and drink licenses are issued to food vendors for special events.  Examples include fairs, festivals, sporting events, or farmers’ markets.  A temporary food stand serves food to the public at one location for no more than 14 consecutive days.

 

 

Event coordinator information

The event coordinator has an important role in assuring food safety.  By working together, we will:

  • Identify and resolve potential public health concerns before the event.
  • Ensure vendors complete their license application and pay fees.
  • Educate vendors about food safety requirements.
  • Provide Health Department representative at vendor meeting(s) if requested.

 

Transient licenses from other jurisdictions

Food vendors at special events with a current temporary or transient food license from another jurisdiction may vend at La Crosse County events.  Make sure to have the current license with you to avoid having to purchase a temporary food license from our department.  Even with a non-La Crosse County license, you may still be subject to an inspection and fee of $95.

 

Licensing

 

Step 1:  Contact us for a Temporary Food Vendor Application and a Mobile and Transient License Application.    

 

Step 2:  Return both applications and fees in Step 1 to us at least seven days prior to the event for early bird discount. 

 

Step 3:  Licenses issued at the event will be charged the full amount.

 

Step 4:  Follow Temporary Restaurant Guidelines for vending of food.

 

If you have any questions, call us at 608-785-9771 or email us at [email protected].

 

 

 

 




PHAB

Health Department Office Location
2nd Floor, 300 4th St. N.
La Crosse, WI 54601

Main Business Phone: 608-785-9872
Email:
[email protected]
In a public health emergency call 911
WI Relay Service and Interpretation Services Available

Office Hours: 8:00am to 4:30pm Monday-Friday; some service hours may vary


Collaboratively promoting a healthful community for all people.