About Restaurants and Retail Food Stores

Health and Safety Codes establish the proper way for food to be prepared and sold to the public. If codes are not followed, members of the community and even workers can become sick or injured. That is why it is so important for public health that all food safety codes are followed.

Public Health inspects restaurants and other food facilities to verify that health and safety codes are being respected. A restaurant can be inspected from 1 to 3 times a year. The frequency is based on the public health risk associated with the food products served, the methods of food preparation, and the operational history of the food facility.

Popular information for Restaurants

Los Angeles County would like to help restaurants thrive and ensure public health and safety. Our inspectors in the Environmental Health District Inspection Program are proud to serve you by:

  • Inspecting more than 26,000 restaurants in Los Angeles County.
  • Enforcing the California Health and Safety Code, Los Angeles County Code, Title 11, and the Sherman Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Law
  • Responding to complaints regarding unsafe food temperatures, vermin (i.e., cockroaches/rodents/flies), lack of water/hot water, sewage, poor employee hygiene, and general sanitation. Conducting consumer protection inspections at food markets for fat content analysis of ground beef, labeling requirements, and possible adulteration
  • Conducting truth-in-menu investigations at restaurants to verify that the food advertised is actually what is being offered
  • Closures of food facilities as per California Health and Safety Code when an immediate danger to the public health and safety is present
  • Assisting with Food Recall activities

For general questions, please contact your local District Offices

If you have a business such as a restaurant or retail store which resides in Los Angeles County you are require to hold a Public Health Permit/License in order to operate the business. Please note: If the business is located in the cities of Long Beach, Pasadena, or Vernon, contact the local health department.

If you have a retail restaurant or food market business, please ensure you are always up to date and compliant with local regulations and hold a valid public health license in order to conduct business.

If a food facility plans to produce fresh non-pasteurized bottled juice, Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP) plan is required.

Visit our Get a Permit page for instructions on obtaining a Public Health Permit.


For information about restaurant and market related food safety, restaurant/market ratings, starting a food business and general information for the food businesses in the County, please choose the following options for details.

Report a Problem

If you visit a restaurant or retail food market without a proper public health permit or experience unsanitary conditions or to report code violations in Los Angeles County, you may report this issue by calling the Environmental Health Hotline at (888) 700-9995.

If you observe code violations or would like to file a complaint, you may report this issue by Filing a Complaint Online.