Food Businesses and Permits
All facilities providing food to the public in the Municipality of Anchorage must have a food permit. This includes grocery stores, restaurants, warehouses, temporary food booths, catering, mobile food vendors and food carts, and cottage food vendors. Permits and inspections within the Municipality of Anchorage are handled by the Anchorage Food Safety and Sanitation Program (FSS).
Food Permit Applications:
Click here for Frequently Asked Questions
Food Worker Cards
Food workers in Anchorage are required to have a food worker card. You can obtain a food worker card by passing the food worker online test (Click here).
Employees in food establishments that do not handle food or clean dishes and utensils are not required to have a food worker card. These include individuals responsible only for greeting, seating, or transacting the exchange of money or credit with customers; grocery checkers or grocery baggers; delivery drivers; patients or residents in an institution; those who assists patients or residents in an institution with meals; volunteers; stockers; those responsible for receiving, stocking, shipping, delivering, or picking product in a warehouse; and those under the age of 18 assisting in a school kitchen with school meal service.
Opening a New Food Establishment
If you are building a new food facility in Anchorage or remodeling an existing food facility in Anchorage, the first step is gathering information to be submitted forPlan Review. After plans are approved, you must apply for a food establishment permit before opening to the public. Once a passing opening inspection is completed, the facility may open to the public for service.
Change of Ownership
Be aware that food facility permits are not transferable. For a change of ownership, an application for a health permit must be approved no less than 7 days prior to the change of ownership accompanied by the appropriate fees. If you are buying an existing establishment in Anchorage
without remodeling or changing the menu extensively, a plan review may not be required. This will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis. Complete a health permit application, submit a business license, current Serve Safe certificates, and detailed menu for a full change of ownership. If you have questions about the change of ownership, please read the Change of Ownership Requirements here, or contact our customer service office at 907-343-4200.
Food Protection Manager Certification
Each facility with a Risk type 2 or Risk type 3 permit must have at least one person certified as a food protection manager.
Cottage foods are non-potentially hazardous food products made in a home kitchen for direct sales to the consumer that do not require time/temperature control for safety (TCS).
Cottage food products include baked goods, pickled or fermented vegetables, candies, dried herbs and seasonings, vinegars, trail mix, etc. To apply for a license to sell cottage foods in the MOA, you will need the following , :
- Copy of MOA Food Worker's Card
- Written list of ingredients and process for preparing each ingredient you want to be licensed to sell.
- Physical copies must be provided if you are submitting more than 10 pages of recipes. Recipes can be submitted via mail, or dropped off to the 3rd floor office of 825 L Street.
- Copy of pH test results for any products that are pickled or dried (see example cottage food list here.)
- After your application is approved, there is a $25/annual licensing fee. When selling at the market, this
Cottage Food Placard must be hung or placed on your table visible to consumers.
For more information, review the
Cottage Food Brochure.
An annual raw shell egg vendor permit shall be required for any person selling only raw whole shell eggs directly to consumers through a venue such as a farmers' market or through direct in person sales to consumers with in the Municipality of Anchorage.
Eggs are defined as the shell egg of avian species such as chicken, duck, goose, guinea, quail, ratites, or turkey. Egg does
not include: (a) a balut; (b) the egg of reptile species such as alligator; or (c) an egg product.
Producers of eggs will be required to attest that eggs designated for sale to consumers have been refrigerated at 45 F or below within 36 hours of laying. Eggs shall be sold clean and sound in accordance with Section 3-202.13 of the
2013 FDA Model Food Code.
Anchorage Food Code was updated in December 2017. The Food Code establishes definitions; sets standards for management and personnel, food operations, and equipment and facilities; and provides for food establishment plan review, permit issuance, inspection, employee restriction, and permit suspension within the Municipality of Anchorage.
Click here to read more.
The Anchorage School District states that 107 different languages are spoken in the school district. We recognize that many different languages are spoken in food establishments as well, sometimes leading to communication challenges for inspectors and establishment operators. In an effort to help us communicate better, we developed a booklet called"Let Your Fingers Do The Talking." This booklet translates common phrases that are used during inspections into the most common languages we see in food establishments: English, Spanish, Korean and Chinese. Much more than a common translation book, this booklet allows for "live" translation during inspections. If you have suggestions for this booklet, feel free to discuss with your inspector or contact our customer service office at 907-343-4200.