Welcome to the Food Safety Program


Food Service Inspection Information

Food Service Inspection Information


Food Service Operators

Obtain Your Food Service Permit
  • Permits are non-transferable from one owner to another. If you are purchasing an existing establishment, constructing a new facility, or wishing to operate out of a currently permitted kitchen (catering, shared kitchen, etc.) you must go through the permitting process to obtain your own permit. Click here to see the steps for obtaining permits.
  • Both a local and state permit must be obtained to operate.
  • Permits are required whether you sell food or provide free of charge.
  • For our updated Food Safety Fee Schedule, click here 
  • For the Facility Requirement, click here 

To ask questions or schedule an opening, please call 502-574-6650 Mon-Fri between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m.  Please allow your inspector reasonable notice prior to your desired opening date.

All new plumbing, or plumbing changes must be approved/inspected by the local Health Department, MSD and the Division of Plumbing.  Plumbing installations or changes must also be done by a local licensed plumber.  With the exception of temporary permits, no permit may be issued without an available floor plan. To see a floor plan example and for more detailed information you may click here. (Example: Floor Plan and Combined Floor Plan Examples)

To purchase a Temporary Food Permit, you may apply for one online using this link or visit our office location at 400 E. Gray St. Louisville, KY 40202 between hours of 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. Mon.-Fri. 

Food Service Operators
  • Partial payments will not be accepted.  Once you receive your local and state food permit invoices you can pay online HERE or by mail to  Louisville Metro OMB/Health Billing, P.O. Box 34277, Louisville, KY 40232-4277.

  • Click here to pay your existing permit fee. 
  • Food service establishments are required to have at least one person on site at all times who are locally certified in food safety. 
Food Permits

All establishments selling and/or preparing food for the public to buy or consume are required to have a permit. This includes:

  • Food Service Establishment
  • Retail Food Outlets
  • Temporary Food Operations
  • Mobile Food Units
Types of Food Service Establishments
  • Restaurants
  • Coffee shops 
  • Soda fountains
  • Bars/taverns
  • Cocktail lounges
  • Nightclubs
  • Catering kitchens
  • Cafeterias
  • Tea rooms
  • Grills
  • Luncheonettes
  • Food service at daycares, schools, hospitals and senior living facilities
  • Mobile Food Trucks


Certified Food Manager Information

Certified Manager Information

Ordinance 11 Series 1989:

1989 Jefferson County Fiscal Court:  A certified food service manager and/or food service employee is required to be on duty whenever the food service establishment is open for business or preparing food.  All food service establishments are required to post the certificates issued by the Board of Health.

LMCO Chapter 118

This ordinance requires that a certified individual be on duty whenever the food establishment is operating.  Failure to comply may result in a fine. The two methods to become a certified food manager are an in-person course with Martha Gregory & Associates and an online course administered by State Food Safety.
  • There are three options to pay for the in-person course:
    1. Online
    2. Mail-in
    3. In-person
  • Click here for a printable copy of the application for the certified manager food safety course. 
In-Person Course: Martha Gregory & Associates
  • The Martha Gregory Associates course includes two hours of in person instruction and a one-hour exam. To be certified you will need to pass the exam with a 70% or higher.  After applying LMPHW will send the applicant a study guide. Once receiving the study guide the applicant will need to register for a class. The applicant must register for the course by phone at (502) 458-0841 or online at https://www.mganda.com/JCSC/. Classes will be located at Martha Gregory & Associates, 3010 Taylor Springs Drive, Louisville, KY 40220.
  • Click here to make an online payment for the in-person certified food manager safety course
  • Click here for a printable application for the certified manager food safety course if mailing in payment.
  • Home Study Guide
  • Home Study Guide in Chinese
  • Home Study Guide in Spanish 
  • Home Study Guide in Arabic

    If you have lost your certificate and need another copy you may contact LMPHW Environmental Division at 502-574-6650.  The cost for a duplicate certificate is $10.


The course fee is $35. The retest fee is $15 per test.

Online StateFoodSafety Certified Food Managers Course

StateFoodSafety administers the new online course. The course incorporates a full audiovisual interactive learning experience with question- and-answer segments. Instruction will also be able to facilitate the needs of those with hearing, and vision loss and learning disabilities.

The applicant can also complete a food service manager’s certification course online at https://www.statefoodsafety.com/food-safety-manager-certification#/ . The $35 fee will be accepted on the StateFoodSafety website. The certificate is printed from the course website at the successful completion of the course.
  • Individuals can start and stop as needed.
  • Approximately two hours in length. Individuals can start and stop as needed.
  • Compatible on computers, tablets, Android and iOS smartphone devises.
  • Objectives will include safe food handling, cross-contamination prevention and proper cleaning and sanitizing procedures.
  • Comes with one year of unlimited access to the training videos.
  • Participants in the course will need a grade of 70% to successfully complete the course.
  • Upon completion you will be able to print your certificate or send email to your inbox for printing.
  • Certification is valid for three years.

Need a copy of your online certification, you can log in to your account on the StateFoodSafety website: https://www.statefoodsafety.com/. For questions or problems with the online course, please contact StateFoodSafety customer service, 801-494-1416.

ServSafe, Prometrics, National Registry Transfers to Louisville Metro

If you are certified in ServSafe, Certified Professional Food Manager, or National Registry for Food Safety Professionals you do not need to take our course.  You may transfer your certificate to a local one by submitting a copy along with an application and a $35 fee.  The local certificate will keep the same expiration listed on the national certificate.  You may mail or bring your application to:

Louisville Metro Public Health and Wellness

Food Safety Program

400 E Gray St

Louisville, KY 40202

Make checks payable to Louisville Metro Government.  If you do not take the course within 90 days after submitting your application or do not attend your scheduled class, you will forfeit your $35.00 payment and need to re-apply.

Click here for a printable application for the certified manager food safety course.


Mobile Food Unit Vendor Resources

Mobile Food Unit Vendor Resources

Mobile Food Unit Vendors prepare and sell food to the public and must therefore obtain multiple permits and pass inspections in order to operate in Louisville Metro. This site provides information and guidance specific to obtaining the permits necessary to operate a mobile food service business commonly referred to as a "food truck," in Louisville, Kentucky.

What is a Mobile Food Unit Vendor?
A statewide mobile food unit means a fully enclosed, self-contained food service establishment that operates from a vehicle or is otherwise mobile.  Statewide Mobile Food Units require all food products served in a statewide mobile food unit shall be cooked or prepared in: (a) A statewide mobile food unit permitted by the cabinet; or (b) A food service establishment permitted by the cabinet. Complex food preparation shall not be performed in a statewide mobile food unit. The statewide mobile food unit shall not serve as a catering operation unless it meets additional permitting requirements as a catering kitchen. The statewide mobile food unit shall be serviced and cleaned every day of operation and shall meet the sanitation and plumbing requirements contained in the 2013 FDA Food Code and the Kentucky State Plumbing Code. Sewage and other liquid wastes shall be removed according to the 2013 FDA Food Code and the Kentucky State Plumbing Code.

A Mobile Food Unit Vendor is not a "Mobile Vendor," who conducts business from a vehicle or other conveyance traveling upon public streets, sidewalks, alleys, or other public ways within Louisville Metro, making quick stops to vend items like ice cream and snow cones.

Food Truck Presentation Food trucks that choose to prepare or store food outside of their permitted trucks are required to obtain an additional commissary permit. Click here for information.

Food Trucks, Hot Dog Carts and Concessions
  • For food trucks, hot dog carts and concessions all wastewater must be collected and disposed of appropriately. 
  • Click here for a list of certified grease waste haulers.
  • Click here for a list of Mobile Truck Waste Disposal sites.
  • For a detailed list of requirements for a hot dog cart, click here 
  • For information regarding concession, click here 
Restricted Food Service/Pushcart/Mobile Retail Food Store

Restricted Food Service

Restricted food facility means a mobile or stationary facility limited to preparing and serving only menu items and ingredients considered to be low risk for foodborne illness. Foods that are Time and Temperature Controlled for Safety (TCS) may not be provided by a restricted food facility.   Foods such as shaved ice, flavored ice items, snow cones, with commercially mixed and packaged flavorings are adequate food items. Other items are pre-cooked hot dogs, Italian sausage, bratwurst, frankfurters, roasted nuts without the shell, cotton candy, nacho cheese and chips, commercially pre-packaged sandwiches, pre-packaged ice cream, popsicles, kettle corn and pork rinds. These facilities​ may operate with limited fixture requirements as defined in the Kentucky Food Establishment Act and State Retail Food Code. 

If public water is available, a restricted food facility shall follow the requirements of the Kentucky State Plumbing Code. (b) If public water is not available, a restricted concession facility may operate under temporary sanitation if: 1. There is an adequate amount of stored potable water available.  Tubs, buckets, or similar containers for washing, rinsing, and sanitizing equipment large enough to completely immerse the largest item used in operation are available.  There are to be adequate hand washing facilities; and permanent or portable toilet facilities must be conveniently located and have hand washing facilities available.  The restricted food facility shall provide adequate cold and hot storage for food products and safe storage areas for the storage of dry food and single service articles and shall be constructed or located in such a way that food and utensils shall be protected from potential contamination, including from insects, dust, and debris.


Food such as pre-cooked hot dogs and similar meats such as Italian sausage, bratwurst and frankfurters, nacho chips and cheese and pre-packaged pre-cooked commercially prepared sandwiches may be sold from a pushcart that is either fixed or mobile. Hawaiian shaved ice and snow-cones that use commercially prepared pre-packaged flavor dispensers that are replaced when empty are also eligible for restricted push carts.

Click here to learn more about restricted food service.

Mobile Retail Food Store

Retail food store is any mobile establishment where food or food products, including prepackaged, labeled sandwiches or other foods to be heated in a microwave or infrared oven at the time of purchase, are offered for sale to the consumer, and intended for off-premises consumption, but does not include establishments which handle only prepackaged, snack-type, non-time and temperature controlled foods, markets that offer only fresh fruits and vegetables for sale, food service establishments, food and beverage vending machines, vending machine commissaries, food processing establishments, or home-based processors.  The vehicle must be properly equipped to transport and hold items in the manner described by the State Food Code.  Cold foods must be maintained cold at 41F and hot foods at 135F during transport.


Temporary Food Service Permit Information

Temporary Food Service Permit Information
  • For a list of food safety requirements for all temporary permits, click here
  • To purchase a temporary food service permit online, click here.


  • 1-3 Consecutive days: $60 (state fee), $80 (local fee): $140
  • 4-7 Consecutive days: $90 (state fee), $80 (local fee): $170
  • 8-14 Consecutive days: $125 (state fee), $80 (local fee): $205


Farmers' Market 

Farmers' Market

A farmers’ market temporary food service establishment means any temporary food service establishment operated by a KY farmer who is a member of the market which operates within the confines of a farmers’ market registered with the Kentucky Department of Agriculture for the direct-to-consumer marketing of Kentucky-grown farm products from approved sources. 

A Farmers’ Market temporary food service permit is an option made exclusively for KY farmers operating at markets registered with the Kentucky Department of Agriculture. If the market you wish to operate at is NOT a KDA-registered farmers’ market, this permit option is not applicable. If the farmers’ market is not KDA-registered a temporary food permit can be obtained which allows you to operate no more than fourteen (14) days. Learn more information about purchasing a temporary permit.  

A market can register with KDA at any time during the year but, to be included in all listings and take full advantage of all opportunities, the market should register each year by March 31st. At the beginning of each year, markets will be required to go online to the Kentucky Proud website and update their market information. There is no fee in becoming a registered Kentucky Proud farmers’ market.  

Markets will be required to update their information or register as a new market on-line through the Kentucky Proud webpage http://www.kyproud.com/login-register/  When you register your market, please remember to forward any market membership applications, rule, and regulations to our office via email to [email protected].  

Individuals selling whole fruits and vegetables are not required to have a permit to sell their produce. Individuals wishing to prepare food or sample food, must obtain a temporary farmers' market permit and a Sampling Certificate from Kentucky Department of Agriculture Farmers’ Market. 

The permit must be obtained in person at 400 E. Gray Street, Louisville, Ky., 40202. Requirements include:   
•    The market must be registered with the Kentucky Department of Agriculture.  
•     Must be a farmer or grow an ingredient in their product. 
•    Provide a copy of the Certified Food Managers Course Certificate. 
•     If not a farmer, they must provide proof that they are partnering with a KY farmer, operating at a registered KDA farmer’s market, and utilizing the farmer's produce in their product. 
•    Must make an appointment to obtain the farmers' market temporary permit, by calling 502-574-6650. 
Farmers’ Markets Vendors — Vendors at farmers markets are expected to comply with all applicable state and local health department food safety requirements. This will generally require that food vendors contact the local health department in each county where food products are offered to secure all pertinent registrations/certifications, permits, and, where required, inspections.

A farmers' market temporary permit holder can operate for a period of time not to exceed two (2) days per week for any consecutive six (6) months period in a calendar year.

•    $100 (state fee); $80 (local fee), Total fee: $180.


Foodborne Illness 

Foodborne Illness

There are an estimated 48 million cases of foodborne illness annually in the U.S.

Foodborne Illness: Know the Symptoms:

  • Symptoms of foodborne illness usually appear 12 to 72 hours after eating contaminated food but may occur between 30 minutes and 4 weeks later. Symptoms include:
  • Nausea, vomiting, diarrhea (may be bloody), and abdominal pain, fever, headache, and body ache.
  • If you suspect that you could have a foodborne illness, contact your physician or health care provider right away!
  • Depending on your symptoms your physician or health care provider may conduct diagnostic tests. It is very important that you talk to your physician about symptoms and testing. The diagnostic test helps to determine the type of illness you have and assist the Environmental Health Specialist with their investigation.
Who is at risk?

Although everyone is susceptible, some people are at greater risk for developing foodborne illness.

  • Pregnant Women, Unborn Babies and Children
  • Older Adults
  • People with Cancer, Diabetes, HIV/AIDS, Organ Transplants and Autoimmune Diseases

Click here for a listing of foods to avoid. 

Reporting a Foodborne Illness

The Food Safety Program conducts investigations of reported illness connected with a permitted food service establishment in Louisville Metro.

It is important that you make every effort to provide a 48-hour food history along with a history of recent activities.

Click here to file an online foodborne illness report. You can also report a foodborne illness via email to [email protected]

To report a potential foodborne illness, call our office at 502-574-6650, press 2 for Food Safety and press 1 for Foodborne Illness or Food Poisoning. Please advise that you are calling to report an illness associated with a food service establishment that you visited. 



Food Establishment Mapping Tool 

Food Establishment Mapping Tool

This interactive application (updated 2 times per year) displays the geographic locations of permitted food establishments (restaurants, retail food locations, etc). It is intended to help entrepreneurs understand the competitive landscape and opportunities, and for residents or visitors to be able to easily locate establishments and see inspection scores (and features such as nearby bus stops or bike lanes) at a glance. The unique search features of this application allow users to find locations near an address or within a user-defined boundary on a dynamic, interactive map.


Home-based Processors & Microprocessor Information

Home-Based Processors & Microprocessor Information


Hepatitis A Disinfection Guidelines

 Hepatitis A Disinfection Guidelines


Educational Opportunities-Food Safety In-Service

Educational Opportunities-Food Safety In-Service

Establishments can request a staff member from the Food Safety & Protection Program to come to their facility and provide training on Food Safety best practices.  Our goal is to assist an operator with the education of their food service workers and enhance our community’s understanding and implementation of food safety practices. A Food Safety representative will review the requirement of the food code as it applies to your business and highlight the critical violations that represent the highest risk factors that cause foodborne illness. This service is free and lasts approximately one hour.

Please call 574-6650 today to schedule your Food Safety In-Service.

Multilingual Support
ABC Placard

To review the Louisville Metro ABC Placard Policy, click here 

FDA Recalls and Safety Alerts

Click here to learn more about  FDA Recalls and Safety Alerts

Useful links


Food Safety Award (SAFE)

Food Safety Award (SAFE)

The Sanitation and Food-safety Excellence (SAFE) award recognizes food service establishments who have demonstrated outstanding food handling and sanitation practices.  SAFE award-winning facilities strive to ensure safe dining and may be considered model operations for all food service establishments. There are more than 5,000 permitted food service establishments in Louisville.  To be eligible for nomination, a food service establishment must have:

  • Maintained an A placard for two successive routine inspections
  • Serve foods such as meat or egg products, which if mishandled, have the potential to be associated with foodborne illness

The monthly winner of the award receives a plaque and letter of commendation from the Department of Public Health and Wellness:

  • Must have their food service permit for at least one year
  • Have a history of compliance with regulations
  • Have certified food managers as s required by LMCO Ch. 118


Children's Meal Ordinance 

Children's Meal Ordinance

Louisville Metro Council recently passed Ordinance NO. 081, series 2018 (Children’s meal ordinance 2018 pdf) requiring nutritional standards and a healthy default beverage in children’s meals. Children’s meals are defined as a combination of food items and a beverage that are sold together at a single price and primarily intended for consumption by children.

Beginning October 5, 2018, restaurants that provide children’s meals will be required to provide at least one of the following as the default beverage: milk, non-dairy milk, water, sparkling water, flavored water with no added natural or artificial sweeteners, fruit juice combined with water or carbonated water, or a beverage containing less than 25 calories per 8 ounces with no artificial sweeteners added. Customers will still be able to purchase sodas, juices and other sugary drinks upon request.

The ordinance also requires at least one of the following menu options as well:

  • At least one – quarter cup of unfried fruit or unfried vegetables, excluding white potatoes;
  • A whole grain product that contains not less than 51 percent by weight in whole grain ingredients, or list whole grain as the first ingredient; or
  • A lean protein, defined as a food containing less than 10 grams of fat, 4.5 grams or less of saturated fat and less than 95 milligrams of cholesterol per 100 grams and per labeled serving.

The ordinance went into effect on October 5, 2018. Civil fines will be assessed.

For more information regarding the Children’s Meal Ordinance, click here. 

Any Questions: Call us at 502.574.6650 press 2 to speak with a member of our food safety team.


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  • Call us at 502.574.6650 and press 2 to speak with a member of LMPHW food safety team.


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