How to Open a New Food Establishment

How to Open a New Food Service Establishment in Peoria County

All establishments that meet the definition of a Food Establishment as defined in the Illinois Food Code and Chapter 10 Food Safety of the Peoria County Code (PDF) must obtain a license to operate.  Examples of licensed food service establishments in Peoria County include, but are not limited to, restaurants, cafeterias, daycares, schools, long-term care facilities, mobile food trucks, banquet halls, grocery stores, concession stands, bakeries, coffee shops, and bars.

Open a New Food Establishment

The Environmental Health Division of the Peoria City/County Health Department works with applicants to ensure that plans for all new or remodeled food service establishments are constructed to meet all applicable codes and are designed with a focus on food safety. Opening a new food service establishment can be an intimidating, but rewarding, venture.  By following the steps below, opening a new food service establishment can be a smooth process.

Step One – Initial Inquiry

Download a Plan Review Application Packet and a copy of the current Peoria County Food Code (Chapter 10 Food Safety of the Peoria County Code (PDF)):

Plan Review Application Packets can also be obtained in person at the Peoria City/County Health Department or requested by emailing EH@PeoriaCounty.org.

Establishments in the City of Peoria – attend One Stop Shop! One Stop Shop meets every Monday (currently on a virtual platform) at 1:30pm. Relevant local entities are available to answer questions from residents, developers, and business owners on building plans, site plans, and required permits for new and upcoming projects. Click here for more information on One Stop Shop!

City of Peoria Taxes - Additionally, if you open an establishment in the City of Peoria (including Mobile Units that operate within city limits) you are required to remit the City of Peoria Restaurant Tax monthly, when food operations begin. Please contact ar@peoriagov.org for more information or download the forms below:

Step Two – Submit Plans

The following items must be submitted before your plans will be evaluated:

Step Three – Review Process

The plans will be reviewed ONLY after all the above required documents and fees have been submitted.

Please allow up to thirty (30) business days to review the plans once all required documents are received.

Plans are reviewed in the order in which they are received.

Step Four – Approval Process

Changes to your plans or additional information may be required prior to plan approval – prompt responses to inquiries help ensure the process runs smoothly. 

Any changes to submitted plans must be pre-approved by this Department before construction begins.

A construction approval letter will be sent once plans are approved.  This letter will detail conditions of approval (if applicable), assignment of risk category, license fee, and how to contact us to schedule a final inspection.

Step Five – Final Approval

When the establishment is finished and all equipment is in place and operational, a final inspection can be scheduled. All equipment must be on and functioning properly during this inspection. If the establishment meets Code and no major corrections are needed, final approval to operate will be given. It is highly recommended that a representative of the food service establishment conduct a Final Inspection Self-Checklist for New Establishments (PDF) to address any issues prior to receiving final approval. 

Contact our office at 309-679-6161 or EH@peoriacounty.org to schedule a final inspection AT LEAST one week in advance.

Annual license fees must be paid prior to being given final approval to operate. A license fee schedule can be found on page 23-24 of the Peoria County Code (PDF).

Step Six – Open for Business & Operational Routine Inspection

Approximately thirty (30) days after operations begin, a representative of the Health Authority will conduct a full, routine inspection to assess compliance with the Illinois Food Code and Chapter 10 Food Safety of the Peoria County Code (PDF). The establishment will be inspected on a schedule consistent with its risk category assessment (those establishments conducting higher risk activities are inspected more frequently than those establishments conducting low risk activities).

Establishments are encouraged to regularly conduct their own Self-Inspection  of the establishment in between inspections by the Health Authority to identify and correct any food safety deficiencies in a timely manner.