Food & Lodging Program

Food & Lodging Program

The Food and Lodging Program works to protect health and prevent disease by promoting sanitation and food safety. To accomplish this, we license and inspect over 6,000 places where food is prepared, served, processed, or stored. We also regulate lodging facilities including hotels, bed & breakfasts, and children’s camps.

If you sell food or offer lodging to the public, you will need a Health Department license in most cases. The Food & Lodging Program is here is to assist you in that process.

FAQs on THC-Containing Food Products

How to Get a License From the Health Department

  1. Determine which license you need, and review the regulations. Home-based food businesses can find specific information here.
  2. Mail the application and license fees 30 days before opening.
  3. A health inspector will contact you to discuss your plans and schedule an opening inspection, usually within 10 business days. Contact a public health inspector if you have questions about the inspection.
  4. Contact other state and local agencies as needed. Search for a wastewater permit or contact a DEC specialist if you have questions about wastewater permits.
  5. Complete an opening inspection. You are approved to begin operating after you pass an opening inspection and have all permits from other agencies in place. The license will be mailed to you within 10 business days.

In rare cases, a license is not required. Learn more about license exemptions

Online License Renewal

Read the instructions for online license renewal

You can now renew your license online using a credit card or electronic check. You'll need to set up a new account the first time you log in. You'll also need the Business Code included on your renewal notice. Watch the video below for detailed instructions on how to set up your account and renew your license online. 

Call the Food & Lodging Program at 802-863-7221 if you need help with online license renewal.

Complaints, Tips and Reporting Food Poisoning

The Food and Lodging Program responds to complaints involving sanitation in food and lodging establishments, food product contamination, and suspected foodborne illness.

If you want to file a complaint, please be prepared with the following information:

  • The name and address of the establishment
  • Specific information regarding the nature of your complaint‚ÄĒdescribe the situation or concern as completely as possible
  • Illness complaints should also include details on symptoms experienced including time and date, whether you sought medical attention, and what foods were eaten in the three days prior to experiencing symptoms
  • Date and time you visited the establishment
  • Include contact information if you would like a response or need to be asked for more information

Complaints with insufficient information may not be evaluated for follow-up.

Complaints about rental housing should be directed to your local Town Health Officer.

Note: Complaint information provided may be considered public record and subject to disclosure upon request.

See Frequently Asked Questions about filing a complaint 

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I request an opening inspection? First submit the application and license fees to the central office, then a public health inspector will contact you to schedule an opening inspection.  

Who is my health inspector? Use this map to find the public health inspector in your area.

Which license do I need? Use the Guide to Opening a Food or Lodging Establishment to help determine which license(s) are appropriate.

Do I need to submit plans for review? A plan review is required for new construction and for significant renovations. There is no fee for the plan review.

How long does it take to get a license?  You should apply at least 30 days before you plan to open your business, especially if you require a preliminary inspection.

My license has expired. Why can’t I renew it online? If your license has been expired for more than 120 days, a new application is required. You cannot renew online.

Contact Information

Food & Lodging Program
108 Cherry St., PO Box 70 
Burlington, VT 05402-0070
Phone: 802-863-7221 or
800-439-8550 (toll-free within VT)
Fax: 802-863-7483

[email protected]

Use this Public Health Inspector District Map to find contact details for the inspector in your area.



In This Section

Retail food establishments include restaurants, catering companies, food trucks and push carts, as well as seafood vendors and limited operation establishments. 

Establishments that process food‚ÄĒsuch as sauces, salsa, salad dressings, candies, chocolates, jams and jellies, etc.‚ÄĒfor retail or wholesale markets, as well as food warehouses and distribution centers, must apply for a food processor license.

Establishments that offer lodging to the traveling, transient public must apply for a Health Department lodging license.

Through this web portal, you can learn more about the inspection process and view recent inspection reports for food and lodging establishments throughout Vermont.

A temporary food service establishment is a food and/or beverage stand that is disassembled and moved from location to location.

Health Department regulations allow some small businesses to operate in a primary residence using standard home equipment.

Search here for free food safety resources for our license holders.

Each year an estimated 48 million cases of foodborne illness occur in the U.S.‚ÄĒthe equivalent of one in six Americans.