If you own or plan on opening a business that sells and prepares food, there are codes that you need to follow. These codes are in place to make sure the food products you serve are safe for customers. You can refer to the 2022 FDA Food Code for a detailed description of all regulations for food establishments.
Due to the different requirements when applying for a food establishment license for each food establishment classification, it is recommended that you contact the Environmental Health Division for guidance on the requirements for your specific establishment. You can contact us by:
- Calling 203-576-7474
- Or in person at 999 Broad St, Bridgeport, CT 06604
Applying for a Food Establishment License
Bridgeport Health Department – Environmental Health Division requires the following documents for new establishments and change of ownership:
- Copy of Application for Certificate of Zoning Compliance from the Zoning Department
- Copy of Building Department Permits from the Building Department if you are renovating the inside of the business
- Copy of Trade Name Certificate from the Town Clerk’s Office
- Copy of Personal Property Tax Inquiry Form from the Tax Collector's Office to make sure there are no taxes owed for the business
- Copy of the Lease or Bill of Sale
- Fire Marshal Approval of existing or new kitchen from the Fire Marshal's Office
- Floor Plan of the establishment (showing the location of all equipment). Please see the Fee and Licensing Schedule to determine the floor plan review fee
- Copy of Menu/List of Food Products
- Copy of Food Protection Manager Certificate by approved testing organization. A list of approved organizations can be found at Certified Food Protection Manager Courses
- Copy of Connecticut Liquor License, if serving liquor at the establishment
- Copy of Connecticut Licensed Exterminator Contract
- Copy of Owner’s Photo ID
- A written Emergency Preparedness Plan stating how the food within the establishment will be dealt with in the event of a natural disaster
A printable list of the required documents to submit with your application as well as forms to obtain those documents is available:
To determine the licensing fees please refer to the Fee and Licensing Schedule. Fees are determined by classification of food establishment (see guide below) as well as number of seats in the establishment.
|A “Class 1 Food Establishment” means a retail food establishment that does not serve a population that is highly susceptible to food borne illnesses and only offers (A) commercially packaged food in its original commercial package that is time or temperature controlled for safety, or (B) commercially prepackaged, precooked food that is time or temperature controlled for safety and heated, hot held and served in its original commercial package not later than four hours after heating, or (C) food prepared in the establishment that is not time or temperature controlled for safety (TCS).||
|A “Class 2 Food Establishment” means a retail food establishment that does not serve a population that is highly susceptible to food-borne illnesses and offers a limited menu of food that is prepared or cooked and served immediately, or that prepares or cooks food that is time or temperature controlled for safety and may require hot or cold holding, but that does not involve cooling.||
|A “Class 3 Food Establishment” means a retail food establishment that (A) does not serve a population that is highly susceptible to food-borne illnesses, and (B) offers food that is time or temperature controlled for safety and requires complex preparation, including, but not limited to, handling of raw ingredients, cooking, cooling and reheating for hot holding.||
|A “Class 4 Food Establishment” means a retail food establishment that serves a population that is highly susceptible to food-borne illnesses, including, but not limited to, preschool students, hospital patients and nursing home patients or residents, or that conducts specialized food processes, including, but not limited to, smoking, curing or reduced oxygen packaging for the purposes of extending the shelf life of the food.||
Additional Information for Food Establishments
Food Handler Certification Courses - This program covers important elements of food safety and foodborne illness prevention including time and temperature controls, personal hygiene, and cross contamination.
Certified Food Protection Manager Courses - The Bridgeport Health Department requires that all food service establishments have at least one certified food protection manager on staff.
If you experience a power outage at your food establishment, there are steps to follow to manage food that may spoil. You can learn more about these steps in the Connecticut Department of Public Health Guidelines for Foodservice Establishments to Safely Reopen after a Power Outage.