Food Inspection Information for Businesses


A food establishment may be defined as a restaurant, bar, school cafeteria, hospital cafeteria, concession stand, retail store, or independent living facility selling potentially hazardous foods.

Food Permits

We require businesses to have a food permit as explained in Chapter 58, Article II Food and Food Establishments, Sec. 58-53 of the Springfield City Code.

Food permits are NOT transferable from one owner to the next.

Applications for Permits;

Food Permit Process

The process to become a permitted food establishment has changed slightly with the recent adoption of a new inspection software in June of 2021.  The new process provides a clear set of milestones for Owners/Operators to progress through to become permitted.  Below is a guide that walks you through the specific milestones that all food establishments must follow in order, to become permitted;

  1. Submit Plans.  If you are building your food establishment, or remodeling an existing building to be a food establishment, you will need to submit formal plans to Building Development Services (417-864-1585).  If you have taken ownership of a previous food establishment and utilizing the same equipment and fixtures, you may not need to submit plans for review.  To be sure, call our office at 417-864-1017 and we can help guide you depending on your situation.
  2. Application and Pre-Screen.  Submitting your application will create the file for your new food establishment.  Our team of inspectors will review your application, menu, and food processes to determine your frequency of inspection and permit fee.  With the information on your application, our team will communicate to you how to pay your permit fee at the next milestone.
  3. Pay Permit Fee.  There are several ways to pay your permit fee (over the phone, in person, or by mail).  Once you have the permit number for your food establishment you may also pay online here; 
  4. Pre-Opening Inspection.  After you have applied and paid your permit fee, one of our inspectors will schedule a pre-opening inspection with you at the location of your food establishment to determine exactly what else needs to be completed before a permit can be issued.  This process may involve more than one pre-opening inspection.
  5. Issue Permit.  Once our inspector has been able to verify through a pre-operational inspection that your food establishment meets all requirements in our Food Code, we will issue your permit.

Food Permit Fees

Food service establishments will be evaluated using the Food Establishment Priority worksheet which will help health department staff determine if an establishment is High, Medium or Low Priority.

Establishments located inside Springfield and Greene County

  • High Priority Establishments - Annual permit fee $493
    • Includes three routine inspections and all other activities as needed.
  • Medium Priority Establishments - Annual permit fee $336
    • Includes two routine inspections and all other activities as needed.
  • Low Priority Establishments - Annual permit fee $200
    • Includes one routine inspection and all other activities as needed. 

Temporary Event Permits

  • Temporary Event - $86

Mobile Food Vendor Permit

  • High Priority - $138
  • Medium Priority - $111
  • Low Priority - $86

Your category status could change based on your menu and methods of preparation. This will be evaluated on an annual basis.

Inspection Frequency

Food establishments are inspected one to three times a year using the Missouri State Food Code. The frequency of inspection is based on the type of food served, the population served, the difficulty level of food preparation, and the inspection history of the facility. Restaurants preparing food from raw ingredients are inspected more often than convenience stores that serve only non-potentially hazardous foods, such as popcorn and soda.

Food Inspection Violations

Food inspection violations found during an inspection fall into the Priority and Core category. Priority items can have a direct impact on the safety of the food.  Core items are usually sanitation or maintenance issues and are the items most often observed by the public while dining.

Priority Violations

Priority items can have a direct impact on the safety of the food. A repeat priority violation directly affecting the safety of the food could result in a minimum 24-hour suspension of the food establishment's permit. Examples of priority violations include

  • Cross contamination between raw and ready-to-eat food
  • Touching ready-to-eat foods without gloves 
  • Food from an unapproved source
  • Improper food temperature
  • Lack of food safety knowledge by the person in charge
  • Poor personal hygiene and employee health

Core Violations

Core items play an important role in the overall performance of the facility but alone do not directly affect food safety. Examples of core violations include:

  • Dirty floors
  • Dirty non-food contact equipment
  • Grease on the floor
  • Outside trash cans not covered
  • Repair issues
  • Sticky tabletops
  • Workers not wearing hair restraints, like hair nets or caps

Recent Food Inspections

You can view results of food inspections from your favorite restaurant by searching our food inspection database.