Food Facility Licensing - California

In September 1986, legislation was passed requiring any person engaged in the manufacturing, packing, labeling, or holding (warehousing) of processed food in the State of California to register annually with the Department of Health Services (DHS), Food and Drug Branch (FDB).

In September 1988, legislation included a $350 fixed fee for registration to ensure that FDB’s Food Safety Inspection Program would be supported by industry fees. On January 1,1991, legislation replaced the fixed fee with a sliding fee to more equitably distribute the costs of the inspection program. The sliding fees approximate the State’s cost to inspect registrants based upon facility size, number of persons working in the facility (including owners), and whether the registrant only holds (warehouses) processed food or also manufactures, packs, or labels processed food. A 1% per month penalty on the registration fee is assessed for late payment. Additional revisions became effective January 1, 2000. A new fee schedule was established which modified processed food registration fees to provide sufficient funds for staff resources to enable FDB to perform annual food safety inspections. The new fee schedule continues to provide the lowest fees for very small processors (i.e., those having two or less employees, including owners), and provides new fee categories for warehouses based on facility size and graduated fees for medium to large firms based on facility size and number of employees working in the facility.

Beginning January 1, 2001, all new firms are required to be inspected by FDB "prior" to becoming registered and all registered firms are required to be inspected by FDB annually. Firms that cannot resolve their compliance problems after two inspections (one original inspection and one follow-up reinspection) in the same registration period, shall be required to pay a $75 per hour fee for each additional reinspection.

Other states may have similar requirements. We can help you with your licensing needs.

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