Food Service Establishments


Cooks working in a restaurant kitchen



The Chicago Department of Public Health's Food Protection Division educates food businesses, inspects food establishments, addresses food related emergencies, and otherwise act in the public interest.

Through the inspection of food establishments and education of the food service manager, we are able to promote public health in the areas of food safety and sanitation to prevent the spread of food-borne disease.


In carrying out these responsibilities, members of the Food Protection Division conduct periodic inspections of food establishments in the city of Chicago. There are approximately 16,000 food establishments licensed in the city.

A Retail Food Establishment License is required any time perishable food is prepared, served or sold to the public. A Retail Food License will only be issued to a commercial location.

Additional Information

Visit the Business Licensing site, for information on licenses, permits, and additional resources.

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