Administrative Code

Virginia Administrative Code
6/19/2024

Article 3. Permit to Operate

12VAC5-421-3660. Permits.

A. No person shall own, establish, conduct, maintain, manage, or operate any food establishment in this Commonwealth unless the food establishment is permitted as provided in this section. All permits shall be in the name of the owner . Permits shall not be issued to newly constructed or extensively remodeled food establishments until a certificate of occupancy has been issued by the Building Official. Only a person who complies with the requirements of this part shall be entitled to receive or retain such a permit.

B. Permits issued shall not be transferable from one person to another or from one location to another. A new owner shall be required to make a written application for a permit. The application forms are obtainable at all local health departments.

C. Any person operating a food establishment with a valid permit who desires to expand or modify the establishment, shall notify the local health department in the jurisdiction where the food establishment is located, and the local health department shall determine whether such expansion, modification, or reclassification is in compliance with the applicable sections of this chapter.

D. The permit shall be posted in every food establishment in a place where it is readily observable by the public transacting business with the establishment.

E. Permits shall expire annually otherwise not to exceed 12 months from the date of issuance.

Statutory Authority

§§ 35.1-11 and 35.1-14 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from Virginia Register Volume 18, Issue 10, eff. March 1, 2002; amended, Virginia Register Volume 24, Issue 2, eff. October 16, 2007; Volume 37, Issue 18, eff. June 10, 2021.

12VAC5-421-3670. Application procedure, submission before proposed opening.

A. An applicant seeking to operate a nontemporary food establishment shall submit an application for a permit at least 30 calendar days before the date planned for opening a food establishment or at least 30 calendar days before the expiration date of the current permit for an existing facility.

B. An applicant seeking to operate a temporary food establishment shall submit an application for a permit at least 10 calendar days before the date planned for opening the temporary food establishment.

C. Any applicant who fails to complete the application process within 12 months of receipt of the application by the local health department's office may be required to submit a new application and plan.

Statutory Authority

§§ 35.1-11 and 35.1-14 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from Virginia Register Volume 18, Issue 10, eff. March 1, 2002; amended, Virginia Register Volume 32, Issue 22, eff. July 12, 2016; Volume 37, Issue 18, eff. June 10, 2021.

12VAC5-421-3680. Form of submission.

A person desiring to operate a food establishment shall submit to the department a written application for a permit on a form provided by the department.

Statutory Authority

§§ 35.1-11 and 35.1-14 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from Virginia Register Volume 18, Issue 10, eff. March 1, 2002; amended, Virginia Register Volume 37, Issue 18, eff. June 10, 2021.

12VAC5-421-3690. Qualifications and responsibilities of applicants.

To qualify for a permit, an applicant shall:

1. Be an owner of the food establishment or an officer of the legal ownership;

2. Comply with the requirements of this chapter; and

3. As specified under 12VAC5-421-3820, agree to allow access to the food establishment and to provide required information.

Statutory Authority

§§ 35.1-11 and 35.1-14 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from Virginia Register Volume 18, Issue 10, eff. March 1, 2002; amended, Virginia Register Volume 37, Issue 18, eff. June 10, 2021.

12VAC5-421-3700. Contents of the application.

The application shall include:

1. The name, mailing address, telephone number, and signature of the person applying for the permit and the name, mailing address, and location of the food establishment;

2. Information specifying whether the food establishment is owned by an association, corporation, individual, partnership, or other legal entity;

3. A statement specifying whether the food establishment:

a. Is mobile or stationary, and temporary or permanent; and

b. Is an operation that includes one or more of the following:

(1) Prepares, offers for sale, or serves time/temperature control for safety food:

(a) Only to order upon a consumer's request;

(b) In advance in quantities based on projected consumer demand and discards food that is not sold or served at an approved frequency; or

(c) Using time as the public health control as specified under 12VAC5-421-850;

(2) Prepares time/temperature control for safety food in advance using a food preparation method that involves two or more steps which may include combining time/temperature control for safety food ingredients; cooking; cooling; reheating; hot or cold holding; freezing; or thawing;

(3) Prepares food as specified under subdivision 3 b (2) of this section for delivery to and consumption at a location off the premises of the food establishment where it is prepared;

(4) Prepares food as specified under subdivision 3 b (2) of this section for service to a highly susceptible population;

(5) Prepares only food that is not time/temperature control for safety food; or

(6) Does not prepare, but offers for sale only prepackaged food that is not time/temperature control for safety food;

4. The name, title, address, and telephone number of the person directly responsible for the food establishment;

5. The name, title, address, and telephone number of the person who functions as the immediate supervisor of the person specified under subdivision 4 of this section such as the zone, district, or regional supervisor;

6. The names, titles, and addresses of:

a. The persons comprising the legal ownership as specified under subdivision 2 of this section including the owners and officers; and

b. The local resident agent if one is required based on the type of legal ownership;

7. A statement signed by the applicant that:

a. Attests to the accuracy of the information provided in the application; and

b. Affirms that the applicant will:

(1) Comply with this chapter; and

(2) Allow the department access to the establishment as specified under 12VAC5-421-3820 and to the records specified under 12VAC5-421-440 and 12VAC5-421-2330 and subdivision 4 of 12VAC5-421-3630; and

8. Other information required by the department.

Statutory Authority

§§ 35.1-11 and 35.1-14 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from Virginia Register Volume 18, Issue 10, eff. March 1, 2002; amended, Virginia Register Volume 24, Issue 2, eff. October 16, 2007; Volume 32, Issue 22, eff. July 12, 2016; Volume 37, Issue 18, eff. June 10, 2021.

12VAC5-421-3710. New, converted, or remodeled establishments.

For food establishments that are required to submit plans as specified under 12VAC5-421-3600 the department shall issue a permit to the applicant after:

1. A properly completed application is submitted;

2. Any required fee is submitted;

3. The required plans, specifications, and information are reviewed and approved; and

4. A preoperational inspection as specified in 12VAC5-421-3650 shows that the establishment is built or remodeled in accordance with the approved plans and specifications and that the establishment is in compliance with this chapter.

Statutory Authority

§§ 35.1-11 and 35.1-14 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from Virginia Register Volume 18, Issue 10, eff. March 1, 2002; amended, Virginia Register Volume 37, Issue 18, eff. June 10, 2021.

12VAC5-421-3720. Existing establishments, permit renewal, change of ownership, or termination.

A. The department may renew a permit for an existing food establishment or may issue a permit to a new owner of an existing food establishment after a properly completed application is submitted, reviewed, and approved, any fees are paid, and an inspection shows that the establishment is in compliance with this chapter.

B. An existing food establishment shall notify the department in writing of a change of legal ownership or when business operations have terminated. Such notice shall be submitted in writing to the department at least 30 days prior to the legal ownership transfer or termination of business operation.

Statutory Authority

§§ 35.1-11 and 35.1-14 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from Virginia Register Volume 18, Issue 10, eff. March 1, 2002; amended, Virginia Register Volume 37, Issue 18, eff. June 10, 2021.

12VAC5-421-3730. Denial of application for permit, notice.

If an application for a permit to operate is denied, the department shall provide the applicant with a notice that includes:

1. The specific reasons and chapter citations for the permit denial;

2. The actions, if any, that the applicant must take to qualify for a permit; and

3. Advisement of the applicant's right of appeal and the process and time frames for appeal that are provided in law.

Statutory Authority

§§ 35.1-11 and 35.1-14 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from Virginia Register Volume 18, Issue 10, eff. March 1, 2002; amended, Virginia Register Volume 37, Issue 18, eff. June 10, 2021.

12VAC5-421-3740. Responsibilities of the  department.

A. At the time a permit is first issued, the department shall provide to the permit holder a copy (or opportunity to obtain a copy) of this chapter so that the permit holder is notified of the compliance requirements and the conditions of retention, as specified under 12VAC5-421-3750, that are applicable to the permit.

B. Failure to provide the information specified in subsection A of this section does not prevent the department from taking authorized action or seeking remedies if the permit holder fails to comply with this chapter or an order, warning, or directive of the department.

Statutory Authority

§§ 35.1-11 and 35.1-14 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from Virginia Register Volume 18, Issue 10, eff. March 1, 2002; amended, Virginia Register Volume 37, Issue 18, eff. June 10, 2021.

12VAC5-421-3750. Responsibilities of the permit holder.

In order to retain a permit issued by the department, the permit holder shall:

1. Post the permit in a location in the food establishment that is conspicuous to consumers;

2. Comply with the provisions of this chapter including the conditions of a granted variance as specified under 12VAC5-421-3590 and 12VAC5-421-3595, and approved plans as specified under 12VAC5-421-3610;

3. If a food establishment is required under 12VAC5-421-3620 to operate under a HACCP plan, comply with the plan as specified under 12VAC5-421-3595;

4. Immediately contact the department to report an illness of a food employee or conditional employee as specified under 12VAC5-421-80 B;

5. Immediately discontinue operations and notify the department if an imminent health hazard may exist as specified under 12VAC5-421-3910;

6. Allow representatives of the department access to the food establishment as specified under 12VAC5-421-3820;

7. Replace existing facilities and equipment specified in 12VAC5-421-3510 with facilities and equipment that comply with this chapter if:

a. The department directs the replacement because the facilities and equipment constitute a public health hazard or nuisance or no longer comply with the criteria upon which the facilities and equipment were accepted;

b. The department directs the replacement of the facilities and equipment because of a change of ownership; or

c. The facilities and equipment are replaced in the normal course of operation;

8. Comply with directives of the department including time frames for corrective actions specified in inspection reports, notices, orders, warnings, and other directives issued by the department in regard to the permit holder's food establishment or in response to community emergencies;

9. Accept notices issued and served by the department according to law; and

10. Be subject to the administrative, civil, injunctive, and criminal remedies authorized in law for failure to comply with this chapter or a directive of the department, including time frames for corrective actions specified in inspection reports, notices, orders, warnings, and other directives.

11. Notify customers that a copy of the most recent establishment inspection report is available upon request by:

a. Posting a sign or placard in a location in the food establishment that is conspicuous to customers; or

b. By another method acceptable to the department.

Statutory Authority

§§ 35.1-11 and 35.1-14 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from Virginia Register Volume 18, Issue 10, eff. March 1, 2002; amended, Virginia Register Volume 24, Issue 2, eff. October 16, 2007; Volume 26, Issue 7, eff. January 1, 2010; Volume 37, Issue 18, eff. June 10, 2021.

12VAC5-421-3760. Permits not transferable.

A permit shall not be transferred from one person to another person, from one food establishment to another, or from one type of operation to another if the food operation changes from the type of operation specified in the application as specified under 12VAC5-421-3700 and the change in operation is not approved.

Statutory Authority

§§ 35.1-11 and 35.1-14 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from Virginia Register Volume 18, Issue 10, eff. March 1, 2002; amended, Virginia Register Volume 24, Issue 2, eff. October 16, 2007.

12VAC5-421-3770. Summary suspension of a permit.

The director may summarily suspend a permit to operate a food establishment if the director finds the continued operation constitutes a substantial and imminent threat to the public health. Upon receipt of such notice that a permit is suspended, the permit holder shall cease food operations immediately and begin corrective action.

Whenever a permit is suspended, the holder of the permit or the person in charge shall be notified in writing by mail or by hand delivery. Upon receipt of notice that the permit is immediately suspended, the former permit holder shall be given an opportunity for an informal fact-finding conference in accordance with § 2.2-4019 of the Code of Virginia. The request for an informal fact-finding conference shall be in writing. The written request shall be filed with the local department by the former holder of the permit. If written request for an informal fact-finding conference is not filed within 10 working days, the suspension is sustained. Each holder of a suspended permit shall be afforded an opportunity for an informal fact-finding conference, within three working days of receipt of a request for the informal fact-finding conference. The director may end the suspension at any time if the reasons for the suspension no longer exist.

Statutory Authority

§§ 35.1-11 and 35.1-14 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from Virginia Register Volume 18, Issue 10, eff. March 1, 2002; amended, Virginia Register Volume 32, Issue 22, eff. July 12, 2016; Volume 37, Issue 18, eff. June 10, 2021.

12VAC5-421-3780. Revocation of a permit.

The director may, after conducting an informal fact-finding conference in accordance with § 2.2-4019 of the Code of Virginia, revoke a permit for violation of any of the requirements of this part.

Statutory Authority

§§ 35.1-11 and 35.1-14 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from Virginia Register Volume 18, Issue 10, eff. March 1, 2002; amended, Virginia Register Volume 32, Issue 22, eff. July 12, 2016; Volume 37, Issue 18, eff. June 10, 2021.

12VAC5-421-3790. Application after revocation.

Any person whose permit has been revoked, may apply for a new permit by following the procedures of this part outlined in 12VAC5-421-3670 through 12VAC5-421-3700.

Statutory Authority

§§ 35.1-11 and 35.1-14 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from Virginia Register Volume 18, Issue 10, eff. March 1, 2002.

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