The Food Protection Program supervises the licensing and inspection of all restaurants, grocery stores, vending machines, mobile food operations, and temporary food operations. We conduct reviews of all new and remodeled facilities within the county.


Online Food Establishment Inspection Reports

Online Inspections button

Montgomery County residents are able to view inspection reports from licensed food service operators and retail food establishments inspected by Public Health (Montgomery County, excluding the city of Oakwood). Visit the Online Inspections Reports website.

NOTE: Online inspection reports are available for a period of two (2) years. For older reports contact the Environmental Health office.


What determines the amount for a license fee?

License fees are determined by risk level. The higher the risk, the higher the license fee.

What are the risk levels?

Risk Level I: Issues with sanitation, food labeling, sources of food, storage practices, or expiration dates.

Risk Level II: Issues with hand contact or employee health concerns but minimal possibility of pathogenic growth exists.

Risk Level III: Issues with proper cooking temperatures, proper cooling procedures, proper holding temperatures, contamination issues or improper heat treatment in association with longer holding times before consumption, or processing a raw food product requiring bacterial load reduction procedures in order to sell it as a ready-to-eat.

Risk Level IV: Issues with handling or preparing food using a procedure with several preparation steps that include reheating of a product or ingredient of a product where multiple temperature controls are needed to preclude bacterial growth; offering as ready-to-eat a raw, potentially hazardous meat, poultry product, fish, shellfish, or a food with these raw potentially hazardous items as ingredients; using freezing as a means to achieve parasite destruction; serving a primarily high-risk clientele including immuno-compromised or elderly individuals in a facility that provides either health care or assisted living; or using time in lieu of temperature as a public health control for potentially hazardous food.

How often can I expect to be inspected?

Risk Level I or II: at least 1 standard inspection each licensing period.

Risk Level III: at least 2 standard inspections each licensing period.

Risk Level IV: at least 2 standard inspections and 2 critical control point inspections or process reviews each licensing period.

Additional inspections will be conducted as needed to address compliance or complaints.

What is the difference between a food service operation and a retail food establishment?

A food service operation (FSO) is a place, location, site, or separate area where food intended to be served in individual portions is prepared or served for a charge or required donation. A retail food establishment (RFE) is a premises or part of a premise where food is stored, processed, prepared, manufactured, or otherwise held or handled for retail sale.

I am getting ready to open a new grocery store or restaurant. Do I need to go through plan review?

Any new operation that has not been previously licensed by Public Health will be required to go through the plan review process. If the facility was previously licensed, open within the last year, and no alterations have occurred, plan review may not be required. Any substantial remodel will require plan review. Contact Public Health for further information.

Can I cook food at home to bring into my restaurant to serve?

No. All food that a licensed facility prepares or offers for sale must come from an approved source. No home prepared foods or home canned foods are allowed.

If I have a license for a location in Dayton, can I use that same license for a second location?

No. A license is only valid for the address listed. Each operation is required to have a separate license.

I have a refrigerator at home. Can I bring it in to my store and use it to store food?

All equipment must meet the applicable standard of the National Sanitation Foundation (NSF) or a recognized food service equipment testing company. All equipment must be of such material and so constructed and installed as to readily conform to the Ohio Administrative Code.

What is a potentially hazardous food?

A potentially hazardous food is a food that is natural or synthetic that requires temperature control because it is in a form capable of supporting: the rapid and progressive growth of infectious or toxigenic microorganisms, the growth and toxin production of Clostridium botulinum; or in raw shell eggs, the growth of Salmonella Entertidis. Potentially hazardous includes food of animal origin that is raw or heat-treated; a food of plant origin that is heat-treated or consists of raw seed sprouts; garlic in oil mixtures, cut melons, cut tomatoes, or cut leafy greens. Examples: cooked carrots, beef, chili, soups, deli meats, or sour cream.

What is a ready-to-eat food?

A ready to eat food is any food in a form that is edible without washing, cooking, or additional preparation by the food service operation, retail food establishment or the consumer that is reasonably expected to be consumed in that form.

Do I need a food-handler’s card?

No. At this time, food-handler cards are not required by Public Health.

How long is a license good for?

FSO and RFE licenses must be renewed by March 1st of each year. Regardless of when the application is obtained, it must be renewed by March 1st. For example, an operation that begins business on October 1st must renew the license by March 1st. If you apply for a new license halfway through the licensing year, you are required to pay the full fee amount.

How long is a temporary FSO license good for?

A temporary FSO license is good for five consecutive days at the same address at the same event.

Do I have to apply for a temporary FSO license in advance?

Yes. Appropriate forms and fees must be submitted ten days prior to the event.

Can I make the food in my hotel room or house?

No. Food must be from an approved source. Food must be prepared on site or at a licensed kitchen facility. Contact Public Health for more information.

How many licenses can I apply for in a year?

You may only obtain ten temporary food licenses per year within each jurisdiction.

My kids want to sell lemonade. Will they need a permit?

No. A license is not required if the stand is on the premises of a private home and operated by children under the age of 12 — provided the food is not potentially hazardous.

Do I need a license if I am selling bottled soda at a temporary event?

No. Contact Public Health for more information regarding exemptions.

I have applied for a temporary food license. Does that mean I am ready to go?

Check with event coordinators, city/township officials, property owners, and/or zoning to ensure all permits and proper permission are obtained. Each organization, property owner, or official will have different requirements for you to follow in addition to obtaining a temporary food service license.

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