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Regulations for Selling Prepared Foods

If you have or are thinking of starting a business selling prepared foods, you need to consider how Idaho regulates the prepared food industry, lists the types of food establishments that are subject to the Idaho Food Code, and explains the licensing process.

How Is the Prepared Food Industry Regulated in Idaho?

What Types of Food Establishments Are Subject to the Idaho Food Code?

Restaurants And Related Businesses

Retail-Related Businesses

Food-Processing Businesses

Food-, water-, and beverage-processing and bottling facilities, including:

These lists are not exhaustive, but they give an idea of the types of businesses that must follow Idaho regulations for food establishments serving prepared foods.

Businesses That Are Not Sub- Ject to the Idaho Food Code for Prepared Foods Include

License Requirements

A person or business must have a valid license from IDHW to operate a food establishment. To do this, a business owner must

License Forms and Due Dates

Application forms can be accessed at

The application and license fee for new licenses must be submitted at least 30 calendar days before the planned opening date.

The renewal application and license fee required to renew a license must be submitted by December 1 each year since all licenses expire on December 31.

License Application Contents

The application will ask for the following information:

Name and contact information

Food-establishment characteristics

Signed statement attesting to the accuracy of the information provided and an affirmation that the applicant will comply with the Idaho Food Code and allow regulatory access to the establishment.

Title 39, Chapter 16 of the Idaho Statutes provides more detail: To read the Idaho Food Code in its entirety, see Also, you can read Idaho: Starting a Specialty Food Business (2018) at

Authors: Kirsten Gooden, Student, College of Law, University of Idaho, Christy Dearien, Research Associate, Grant and Project Development, University of Idaho, John Rumel, Professor, College of Law, University of Idaho, Paul Lewin, Associate Professor and Extension Specialist, Agricultural Economics and Rural Sociology, University of Idaho

PLEASE NOTE: This handout does not offer or substitute for legal or tax advice.

This work was supported by the Agriculture and Food Research Initiative (AFRI) Award No. 2016-69006-24831 from the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture.