What the Food and Lodging Program Does

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.

How to Get a License From the Health Department

Your first step is to determine which type of license you need. Once you know which type of license you need, click on the link below and follow the steps on that web page.

  • Retail service - If you're licensing a restaurant, commercial catering business, food truck, pushcart, retail bakery, limited operation, seafood vending or shellfish reshipping/repacking business.
  • Food processing - If you're licensing a manufacturing facility to make products like salsa, sauce, salad dressing, coffee, beverages, snacks, candy, chocolate, condiments, jam and jelly, etc. Warehouses and distribution centers also need this type of license.
  • Lodging - If you're licensing a hotel, motel, tourist home or B&B that offers three or more guest rooms OR fewer units if you also prepare food.
  • Home-based food business - If you want to sell certain allowable home-prepared foods to customers.
  • Temporary food service - If you’re licensing a temporary stand to sell prepared food at a farmers market, fair or other special event.

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

The appeal process for a licensing decision can be found in the Statement of Procedural Rights.

How to Renew Your Food or Lodging License

Renew Your Food or Lodging License Online

Instructions on how to renew your license online

Read the instructions for online license renewal

You can now renew your license online using a credit card or debit card. 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.

How to Report Food Poisoning or File a Complaint

Report Food Poisoning    File a Sanitation Complaint

Instructions on how to report food poisoning or file a complaint about a food or lodging business

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

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

  • The name and address of the establishment
  • Specific information regarding the nature of your complaint—describe the situation or concern as completely as possible
  • Food poisoning 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?
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.

A speech bubble with a Chinese character in it and another speech bubble with the letter A in it. This signifies translated information.

Translated Information


Application for License to Operate a Lodging Establishment or Children's Camp: العربية (Arabic) | မြန်မာစာ (Burmese) |中文  (Simplified Chinese)| دری (Dari) | English | Français (French) | Kirundi | नेपाली (Nepali)| پښتو (Pashto)| Soomaali (Somali) | Español (Spanish) 

Application to Operate a Manufactured Food Establishment: العربية (Arabic) | မြန်မာစာ (Burmese) |中文  (Simplified Chinese)| دری (Dari) | English | Français (French) | Kirundi | नेपाली (Nepali)| پښتو (Pashto)| Soomaali (Somali) | Español (Spanish) 

Application for License to Operate a Retail Food Establishment: العربية (Arabic) | မြန်မာစာ (Burmese) |中文  (Simplified Chinese)| دری (Dari) |English| Français (French) | Kirundi | नेपाली (Nepali) | پښتو (Pashto)| Soomaali (Somali) | Español (Spanish) 

For Emergencies

Guidance for Re-opening Food and Lodging Establishments After Flooding: العربية (Arabic) | မြန်မာစာ (Burmese) | دری (Dari) | English | Français (French) | Kirundi | Soomaali (Somali) | Español (Spanish)

Boil Water Notice Guidance for Food Establishments: العربية (Arabic) | မြန်မာစာ (Burmese) | دری (Dari) | English | Français (French) | Kirundi | Soomaali (Somali) | Español (Spanish)

Electrical Outage Guidance for Food Establishments: العربية (Arabic) | မြန်မာစာ (Burmese) | دری (Dari) | English | Français (French) | Kirundi | Soomaali (Somali) | Español (Spanish)

More Information
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A pointer cursor signifying a website link.
Food Recalls and Safety Alerts (FDA)
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Food Poisoning (CDC)
Contact Us

Mailing address:

VT Dept. of Health
Environmental Health
Food & Lodging Program
280 State Drive
Waterbury, VT 05671-8350

Phone: 802-863-7221 or 800-439-8550 (toll-free within Vermont)

Fax: 802-863-7483

Email: [email protected]

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