Food Processing Establishments

Food Processing Establishments


  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.

Your Guide to Opening a Food Processing Establishment

Read the Requirements: Good Manufacturing Practices for Food Rule

APplication    (Español)

Resources for Food Processors


FDA Guidance for Industry: Food Labeling Guide Labeling and nutrition guidance documents from the Food & Drug Administration.
Food Processing Authorities Search a list of food processing authorities provided by the Association of Food & Drug Officials (AFDO).
Labeling for Food Producers and Processors UVM fact sheet for clarifying label requirements on food products commonly sold in Vermont.
When You're Healthy, We're All Healthy Video for food establishments to share with food workers about how to keep illnesses from spreading.
Log Sheets Print these food safety log sheet templates for use in your establishment. 
Frequently Asked Questions

Do I need a product review from a process authority? A process authority review is required before producing low-acid canned foods, acidified foods, or if it is requested by the Health Department.

What needs to be on the product label? Basic labeling requirements for products commonly made in Vermont can be found on this UVM Extension Factsheet. Detailed information about federal requirements can be found in the FDA Labeling & Nutrition Guidance for Industry.

Do I have to register with the Food & Drug Administration (FDA)? Food processors, warehouses, and distribution centers need to register with the FDA. Find more information here to evaluate requirements for your facility about FDA Food Facility Registration.

Where can I find out more about the Food Safety Modernization Act? Read more about FSMA on the Food & Drug Administration website.

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

FDA Food Safety Modernization Act and Food Facility Registration

The Food & Drug Administration (FDA) overhauled the way it regulates food facilities with the implementation of the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA). FDA has finalized seven major rules as part of the Act. Find more about the rules and related programs by following the link below. 

Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA)

Certain small food facilities may qualify for modified requirements if they file a Qualified Facility Attestation. Read more below.

Qualified Facilities Determination

Most food facilities that manufacture, process, pack, or hold food for human or animal consumption in the United States are required to register with the Food & Drug Administration. Use the resources below to find out more about the requirements. 

Food Facility Biennial Registration Factsheet

Questions and Answers Regarding Food Facility Registration

Retail Food Establishment Exemption Flowchart

Registration of Food Facilities: Small Entity Compliance Guide


License Exemption for Small-Scale Food Processors

There are certain conditions where very small food processors are exempt from licensing. You can read about the exemption and submit the necessary paperwork by selecting the button below. Please note that claiming an exemption from the licensing requirements does not exempt an establishment from compliance with the food safety and sanitation requirements in the Good Manufacturing Practices for Food Rule, nor does the exemption prevent a public health inspector from inspecting your establishment to ensure those requirements are being complied with and investigating any potential health hazards.


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]

Find the Public Health Inspector in Your Area