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The goal of the Detroit Health Department's Food Safety Unit is to protect the public from contaminated food and food borne illness.

Food Safety

  • Educates the community about safe food handling and storage
  • Responds to restaurant complaints
  • Inspects, licenses, and reviews proposals to open small and large food businesses and temporary events serving food

Food Establishments PLEASE NOTE: Per Detroit Health Department policy, Food Safety and Environmental Health inspectors should not be offered, nor should they request any form of goods (including water, food, money, etc.) or services in the course of performing their inspection duties at your establishment. It is illegal to offer an inspector any item of value in exchange for favorable inspection report/outcome, and any offer of goods or services will be reported to senior department leadership.

File a Food Safety Complaint

Please call  (313) 876-0135 to file a complaint if you believe that food served by a Detroit restaurant:

  • Caused you or a family member to get sick
  • Was prepared, handled or stored in unclean conditions
  • Broke food safety laws in some other way

If your complaint is concerning a grocery store, supermarket, bakery, or gas station, please call the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development's Consumer Complaint Hotline at (800) 292-3939.


Renew or Apply for a Food Safety License

Anyone who prepares or serves food to the public needs a license.

Food Establishments

All food service establishments (i.e. restaurants, schools, stadiums, casinos and bars) in Detroit must be licensed. Food service licenses expire on April 30th every year and must be renewed. Food service licenses are not transferable. A new license must be obtained anytime there is a change in facility ownership.  

Mobile Food Businesses

Mobile food businesses (i.e. food trucks, ice cream trucks, pushcarts, hot dog carts, and Special Transitory Food Units or STFUs) must be licensed. For more information on food safety, plan review, and licensing for mobile food businesses, please see the resources below.

Temporary Events

If you are planning an event in the city (i.e. festival, carnival, neighborhood event or other) that involves serving food, you must submit a Temporary Food Service License application at least 10 days before your event.

Interruption of Electrical Service

Please refer to the Emergency Action Plans for Retail Food Establishments in the event your restaurant has an interruption of:

  • Electrical service
  • Water service
  • Contaminated water supply (biological)
  • Sewage back-up
  • Fire
  • Flood

If you need this information in another language, please go to the State of Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development website www.michigan.gov/mda.

Request a Plan Review for a New Food Business

New food businesses can request a review of blueprints and proposals to ensure new (or remodeled) food establishments comply with food safety regulations. Please find helpful plan review resources here:

Learn More About Food Safety

Safe food is important for good health. We all play a major role in keeping our food safe. Food service providers are responsible for producing safe food and are regulated by government agencies. In our homes, there are simple steps we can all take to prevent food borne illness, including practicing good hygiene when handling foods, cooking foods at proper temperatures, and being mindful of food storage guidelines. For more information about food safety at home, see www.foodsafety.gov.

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