About the Plans and Specifications Section
The Plans and Specifications Section ensures that regulated facilities meet the physical and structural requirements for their sanitary operations. This is accomplished through reviewing the plans for new or renovated regulated facilities; reviewing and clearing license applications for various businesses at the One-Stop Center; and conducting pre-operation inspections of facilities prior to the issuance of a Sanitary Permit.
Frequently Asked Questions: Plans and Specifications
1. What is a Sanitary Permit?
A Sanitary Permit is the official document issued by the Department of Public Health and Social Services that authorizes a health-regulated establishment to operate, after it has been determined to have met the minimum requirements for the sanitary operation of its type of business. The types of establishments that are considered to be “health-regulated establishments” are listed in Title 10 Guam Code Annotated, Chapter 21, §21101.
2. How do I get a Sanitary Permit?
In order to obtain a Sanitary Permit the establishment must submit the proper paperwork, submit payment for deposit, and pass the pre-operation inspection prior to opening. If the establishment is new, plan review by the Division of Environmental Health is required. If the facility is an existing establishment and you are a new owner, the existing owner’s Sanitary Permit is voided. You will be treated as a new applicant and go through the same process as a new applicant.
Contact the Division of Environmental Health at One Stop Center in Upper Tumon on Wednesday and Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. at 646-1276 or call the main office at 735-7216/7506 for application, instructions and other related information. You may also obtain the application from our website athttp://www.dphss.guam.gov/.
3. How much is the fee for a Sanitary Permit?
The Sanitary Permit fee is One Hundred Fifty Dollars ($150.00) if the establishment has 1 to 9 employees, until January 2, 2012, when it will increase to $220.00. If the establishment has 10 or more employees, the fee is $290.00 and Five Dollars ($5.00) for each additional employee over 10.
4. How much is the pre-operation inspection fee?
The cost of the pre-operation inspection is included in the initial payment for the Sanitary Permit. However, a fee of Fifty Dollars ($50.00) per hour will be assessed for all follow-up inspections.
5. How much is the fee for a Sanitary Permit for a Temporary Food Service Establishment?
The Sanitary Permit fee for temporary food service establishment is One Hundred Dollars($100.00) for those operating for less than six (6) months, but more than three (3) days and Fifty Dollars ($50.00) for those operating for three (3) days or less.
6. Can you waive the fee for non-profit organization?
No, we do not have the authority waive such fee.
7. When should I submit a Sanitary Permit application?
An application for Sanitary Permit must be submitted at least two weeks prior to the desired date of operation to allow time for processing of the permit, which includes the pre-operation inspection and submission of required documents.
8. How long does the Sanitary Permit process take?
It depends on how soon the applicant can comply with all the requirements for the processing of Sanitary Permit. There are options to expedite the pre-operation inspection and the document processing for additional fees. Expedited pre-operation inspections are only done if the inspection schedule allows, such as when a previously-scheduled inspection has been cancelled or re-scheduled. The additional fee for an expedited pre-operation inspection is $150. Expedited processing of documents is an additional $75 fee. Applications for a Sanitary Permit for a temporary food service establishment that are received one day or less prior to the event will automatically be assessed an expedited processing fee.
9. What are the requirements to operate a restaurant or food establishment?
Before starting a food service establishment, the Division of Environmental Health must be contacted. This contact is required to set up a dialogue outlining the requirements for safe food service and permitting before opening a business. This contact is made with the Division of Environmental Health office at the One Stop Center, located at the Department of Public Works compound in Upper Tumon. The phone number is 646-1276.
10. If I sell prepackaged food only, do I need a Sanitary Permit?
Yes. Even if the establishment only sells prepackaged food, a Sanitary Permit issued by the Division of Environmental Health of the Department of Public Health & Social Services is needed.
11. Can I cook and prepare food at home to sell to the public?
It depends. All food offered for sale must be from an ”approved source,” which means that the food must be from a facility possessing a valid Sanitary Permit from the Division of Environmental Health. Preparation of food for sale to the public must be in a facility in which there is complete separation of living quarters. The facility must be accessible for inspection at any reasonable time, and as inspection staff are not allowed to enter “private residential” areas to access the area to be inspected, direct access is required. Therefore, if your home is not permitted, you cannot cook and prepare food there to sell to the public.
12. Can any permitted food establishment cater food?
No, unless they possess the appropriate Sanitary Permit and an additional Business License for catering. The establishment must also possess the necessary equipment to prepare and transport the menu items.
13. What events require a Sanitary Permit for a Temporary Food Service Establishment (TFSE)?
Individuals or groups planning to hold events that are open to the public for a period of time not exceeding six (6) months in conjunction with a carnival, fair, circus, exhibition or other transitory gathering not of a permanent structure, must obtain a Sanitary Permit.
14. What about a bake sale?
A bake sale is considered a temporary event. If you are offering baked goods or any other food items, a Sanitary Permit for a Temporary Food Service Establishment is required.
15. What are the requirements for temporary event?
If you, or your organization, are planning to hold a temporary event, the Division of Environmental Health must be contacted prior to the event. This contact is required to set up a dialogue outlining the requirements for safe food service and permitting before the event begins. Generally, the requirements are to protect the facility, food-contact surfaces, and food from contamination; maintain foods at the proper temperatures; obtain food items from approved sources; practice good personal hygiene by having a hand-washing sink, soap, and sanitary paper towels available at the site of the temporary event; and using safe equipment and utensils.
16. What are the requirements for a mobile food service establishment?
The requirements are the same as for other food service establishments: protect the facility, food contact surfaces, and food from contamination; maintain foods at the proper temperatures; obtain food items from approved sources; practice good personal hygiene by having a hand-washing sink, soap, and sanitary paper towels available; and using safe equipment and utensils. Mobile units may perform minimal preparation of food. A commissary is required for mobile food units. Mobile units must return back to the commissary at the end of each operating day for storage, cleaning, and sanitation.
17. What types of food can be sold from a mobile unit?
The types of foods which may be sold from a cart are hot dogs, prepackaged foods, and non-potentially hazardous foods. Some examples of non-potentially hazardous foods include popcorn, pickles, and whole/uncut fresh fruits and vegetables.
18. Can I cook from a mobile unit?
Yes, you can cook from a mobile unit provided you possess the necessary equipment to prepare food.
19. What kind of sink must I have to operate a restaurant or other food service establishment?
A three compartment sink with drain boards is necessary to enable the operator to properly wash, rinse, and sanitize soiled food equipment and utensils. A separate hand wash sink is also required for washing of hands. Hand wash sink must be conveniently located to encourage the thorough washing of hands of employees.