DeKalb County Health Dept.

Industry Food Safety

The program works to prevent foodborne illness through licensing and inspection of the over 500 restaurants and retail food establishments in DeKalb County. The program also inspects temporary food vendors and educates the public about safe food handling, preparation, and storage. The program enforces applicable local and state laws pertaining to food and food establishments.

2018 Food Newsletter

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Do I have to have a permit to open a restaurant?
A: Yes, in most cases. However, there are some exceptions.  Call for details. 

Q: How do I apply for a permit?
A: New facility: Once the physical structure has been determined to be adequate, the owner completes the application and pays the required application fee. Applications are provided by the inspector at the pre-operation inspection.
Change of ownership of existing facility: Contact the Health Department for procedure.

Q: How long does the plan review process take?
A: Generally about a week is adequate for the entire process.

Q: Do I have to submit architectural plans?
A: No.  However, all submitted plans must be to scale with the scale clearly noted on the plan.

Q: Are permits transferable from one owner to another?
A: No.

Q: Are permits transferable from one location to another (same owner)?
A: No.

Q: How often are food establishments inspected?
A: Frequency of routine inspections is based on the establishments risk assessment. Category 1 establishments are inspected 3 times per year. Category 2 establishments are inspected one to two times per year, and Category 3 establishments at least once a year. The terms Category 1, 2, 3 describe operational features of the establishment rather than the likelihood of unsafe food practices. All routine inspections are unannounced.  

Additional Questions

For more information regarding the Food Program, call the Health Department at 815-748-2474, or email staff at: (DeKalb County, Illinois).


Cottage Food Registration Application (pdf)
Home Kitchen Registration Application (pdf)
Food Permit Application (pdf)
Food Service Plan Review Form (pdf)
Temporary Food Application (pdf)
Seasonal Food Handling Permit (pdf)
Application for Mobile Vending Unit (pdf)

Restaurant Forms, Reports & Articles
Suggestions for Planning a New or Remodeled Food Service Establishment (pdf)
Temporary Event Checklist for Operators (pdf)
Food Time/Temperature Requirements (pdf)
Food Safety at Temporary Events (pdf)
Temporary Food Service Establishment Regulations (pdf)

IL Farmers Market Food Safety Guide (pdf) 2.35MB
Mobile Vendor Requirements (pdf)
Freedom of Information Action (FOIA) (pdf)

Environmental Health & Animal Control Fees (pdf)

Laws and Regulations
DeKalb County Code  - Chapter 38- Health and Sanitation (includes food and food establishments)

Additional information regarding state codes related to Food & Restaurant can be found in Title 77 of the Illinois Administrative Code.

Food Service Sanitation Code (pdf)

Food Service Sanitation Manager Certification
National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation
Consumer Food Safety
Food Handler FAQs (pdf)

Boil Order FAQs (pdf)
Boil Order Procedures (pdf)