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Anytime food or beverage is served to the public (with or without a charge) a state food license, temporary food service permit, or cottage food registration must be obtained. The only exceptions to this rule are non-profits that serve less than 4 days per year, and people that serve items that are commercially prepackaged which do not require refrigeration like canned soda, bags of chips, wrapped candy, etcetera. If the items are open, or if they must be kept cold or hot for safety, a license must be obtained.
It depends on what you are doing, but for the most part it is always good to touch base with the following to ensure that you don’t have any surprises:
Within the city limits of Great Falls:
County/Outside the city limits of Great Falls:
Many places! You can find any of our plan review applications on our website. You can call Environmental Health Division at 406-454-6950 to have one mailed to you. And of course, you can drop by the CCHD office at 115 4th St S, Great Falls to pick one up in person.
Plan review really is just what it sounds like—a review of your plan. For you, it’s putting your ideas to paper to show that you have everything you need to operate safely and within the rules.
For us, it’s a tool and a service we provide to you. When you turn in your application, we look at whether or not you have the equipment you need to make the menu items you want to offer. Then we look at how the equipment, sinks, hoods, and other spaces work in the facility. Is there ventilation where it needs to be? Are the hand sinks in the right places so that crucial hand washes aren’t missed? Is there enough storage space? Have you located everything so that dirty tasks do not influence food prep areas of the kitchen? The plan review process allows us to interact with you early, develop a relationship, give you pointers, and make sure the facility supports what you are doing before you sink money into it and have make costly changes.
The entire submittal requires the CCHD plan review application, a floor plan with the equipment layout, plumbing and ventilation information, spec sheets on all equipment, a finish schedule, and the proposed menu. Floor plans do not need to be professionally done, but they do need to be neatly sketched scale drawings that are clearly labeled. We recommend using graph paper or layout design software or apps. Equipment spec sheets are preferred, but model numbers are accepted. Bear in mind that model numbers may not give us the information we need to approve the equipment and it may result in delays or us not being unable to approve the unit. The finish schedule can be listed on the floor plans or written in the application packet. Make sure all of the information is included and clear, otherwise your project may be delayed.
Wow… this is a really tough question to answer. Reason being, there is no one size fits all kitchen. The kitchen requirements can vary significantly depending on menu, operation, and volume of food. Think about it… different foods and cooking processes require different kinds of equipment. Different kinds of equipment require different types of plumbing, ventilation, and different amounts of space. Also, different processes may require less equipment, space, sinks than another. However—don’t despair! We can give you the most basic spring board from which to launch.
All kitchens need the following: