Environmental Health - Food, Lodging & Pools
To learn about opening or operating businesses in Minneapolis, visit pages listed under Food, Lodging and Pools. Also, visit Enforcement and Ordinances.
The Minneapolis Health Department is committed to partnering with our businesses to provide information and support during the COVID19 pandemic.
To contact the Health Department, email [email protected]
Visit the City's list of Frequently Asked Questions for businesses
Recommendations for grocery stores and markets
The Minneapolis Health Department would like to thank all of the businesses and dedicated employees working to serve the community during the COVID-19 pandemic.
To help protect the health of your staff and the community, we have some recommendations on how to continue to serve and protect health during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Governor has issued executive orders to slow the spread of COVID-19, closing some businesses until 5 p.m. on Friday, May 1.
Businesses closing include:
- Public pools and spas
- Body art, tattoo and piercing
- Adult day cares
Farmers markets are not closed.
If you have questions about business closures, contact Minneapolis Business Licensing. Email [email protected] or call 612-673-2080.
Temporary food pick up zones
Would you like to set up a temporary 'Food Pick Up Zone'? Go to https://minneapolis.mn.roway.net/ to create an online account and apply for a permit. Find more information on the City's Frequently Asked Questions for businesses.page.
Food safety during delivery and pick-up
Find guidelines for food safety during food delivery and pick-up from the Minnesota Department of Health.
Download and print signs for your business.
Customers best practices for reusable bags & food takeout containers (PDF) from the Minnesota Department of Health
Dine-in food service to close
On March 16, Mayor Jacob Frey and Governor Walz issued executive orders taking drastic measures to address the COVID-19 pandemic.
Dine-in food service and businesses where the public congregates are closed from 5 p.m. Tuesday, March 17, through 5 p.m. Friday, Friday, May 1. This date has been extended per the Governor's executive order 20-18.
Delivery, take-out and drive-thru food service are allowed.
- On Tuesday, March 17, at noon, City inspectors will began educational outreach to affected businesses to inform them about closing dine-in service.
- Enforcement of the executive order begins at 5 p.m. on Tuesday, March 17.
- Businesses with take-out service may have up to five customers picking up orders at one time, as long as the customers are at least six feet apart from each other.
- Individuals whose employment has been affected by COVID-19 can apply for unemployment benefits at www.uimn.org. The site accepts applications Monday through Friday, 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. Visit the state unemployment insurance website for more information.
For health related questions, email [email protected]
For business closure questions contact Business licensing at [email protected] or call 612-673-2080.
Coping with coronavirus - recommendations for food businesses
Recommendations for food businesses build on many tasks that should already be in place such as cleaning and sanitizing.
Guidance for avoiding COVID19 emphasizes excellent personal hygiene and social distancing.
- Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds. Find a handwashing poster in 14 languages on the Minnesota Department of Health website. Also find videos that demonstrate proper handwashing in English, Spanish, Somali and Hmong.
- Cover your cough and sneeze. Cough or sneeze into your upper sleeve, not your hands. Find a Cover your cough poster in 17 languages on the Minnesota Department of Health website.
- Avoid touching your face with unwashed hands.
- Limit face-to-face interactions between staff and customers as much as possible.
- Keep a distance of at least six feet between individuals.
- Stay home when you are sick.
- Stay informed. Visit the Minnesota Department of Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) websites.
- Learn more about Sick and Safe Time. Sick and safe time is a law in Minneapolis protecting time off work.
• Businesses should focus on employee personal hygiene, including proper handwashing, and cleaning and sanitizing.
• Be sure your restrooms are stocked with soap and paper towels. Proper handwashing with soap is better than using hand sanitizer.
• Have tissues and hand sanitizer available for customers. Hand sanitizer should have 60% or more alcohol.
• Clean and sanitize all surfaces frequently touched by customers or employees. This includes items such as menus, condiment dispensers, salt and pepper shakers, buffet serving utensils, tables, doorknobs, light switches, faucets, point-of-sale systems, keyboards, telephones, beverage machines, buzzer-pagers, etc.
• Review your cleaning and sanitizing procedures.
• Inform your customers what you are doing to mitigate the spread of the coronavirus.
• Think about what you would need to do to continue operating if the virus spreads. Do you have online ordering? Food delivery? Could you operate on a take-out basis?
• Use sanitizing compound in water to wipe down tables. Make sure your sanitizer is properly mixed by checking the concentration with your test kit.
• When the water gets dirty or the concentration of the sanitizer drops, change the wiping cloth and replace the sanitizing solution.
• Employees, cleaning staff and others should wash hands often including immediately before putting on gloves and again after removing gloves.
• Employees and cleaning staff should wear disposable gloves for all cleaning tasks, including handling trash.
• Gloves should be removed carefully to avoid contamination of the wearer and the surrounding area.
• Consider using a cleaning product with EPA-approved emerging viral pathogens claims. The American Chemistry Council maintains a list of these products: Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19)-Fighting Products (PDF) (https://www.americanchemistry.com/Novel-Coronavirus-Fighting-Products-List.pdf).
• Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for all cleaning and disinfection products (for example, concentration, application method, contact time, and use of personal protective equipment). Labels contain instructions for safe and effective use of the product including precautions you should take when applying the product.
Linens – tablecloths, napkins, uniforms
• Employees handling dirty laundry should wear gloves.
• Do not shake dirty laundry. This minimize the possibility of dispersing virus through the air.
• Launder items using the warmest appropriate water setting (following manufacturer’s instructions).
• Dry items completely.
• Dirty laundry that has been in contact with an ill person can be washed with other people’s items.
• Clean and disinfect hampers or other carts for transporting laundry according to guidance for hard or soft surfaces.
If a customer is suspected of being sick
• After customer leaves, clean and sanitize items the customer touched. The employee doing cleaning should wear gloves and wash their hands immediately after removing the gloves.
If one of your employees becomes ill with COVID-19
• Develop a protocol if an employee is diagnosed with COVID-19.
• Use your Minneapolis Employee illness log (PDF).
• Make sure employees know your sick time policy and about their rights under the Minneapolis Sick and Safe time ordinance.
• Refer to the Sick and Safe time for food businesses flyer.
• If a staff member has a sick family member, the staff member should contact the Minnesota Department of Health to determine if it is ok to go to work.
• Communicate to employees.
Remember, viruses don’t discriminate and neither should we. (PDF)
You can find more information in a list of frequently asked questions.
If you have questions, contact [email protected] or call the Minnesota Department of health hotline at 651-201-3920. The hotline is answered Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Somali Certified Food Protection Manager trainingTababarka shahaadada maamulaha fayi-dhowrka cuntada iyo imtixaanka afka Soomaaliga ah
Points removed for Priority 3 violations
You may notice a change on your next health inspection report. All priority 3 violations are now scored as zero points. Priority 3 violations will still be called as “out” and still need to be corrected. However, they will not have a point value.
We made this change so that point totals more accurately reflect food safety risks.
Points for Priority 1 and Priority 2 violations have not changed.
Priority 1 violations - 4 points. Priority 1 violations directly impact food safety or injury.
Priority 2 violations - 2 points. Priority 2 violations are items that support food safety.
Help with refrigeration costs for small businesses
Xcel Energy is working with the City of Minneapolis to help small business owners save money on refrigeration costs.
The energy used to run refrigeration equipment can cost a lot of money for restaurants, grocery stores, convenience stores, and liquor stores.
You can get money back for equipment upgrades from Xcel Energy rebates and the Minneapolis Green Business Refrigeration Program. The programs are easy to use and can pay for up to half of total costs.
The Minneapolis Green Business Refrigeration Program pays for up to 20% of the cost for equipment improvements. Businesses in Minneapolis’ Green Zone areas will receive up to 30% of project costs.
Get a free assessment for your business from Xcel Energy’s Commercial Refrigeration Program. Experts will look at your equipment. They will recommend upgrades to make your equipment more efficient which will save you money.
To qualify for City funding your business:
- Must be located in Minneapolis, and
- Be eligible for Xcel Energy’s Commercial Refrigeration Program.
The City will give a maximum of up to $10,000 to each eligible business. Funds will be awarded on a first-come, first-served based until they are gone.
To schedule a refrigeration assessment or if you have questions, please contact the Xcel Energy Commercial Refrigeration team at (612) 455-7803 or
Center for Energy and Environment (CEE) manages the Minnesota Commercial Refrigeration Efficiency Program on behalf of:
- Xcel Energy, and
- The City of Minneapolis
Environmental Health wins 2019 Crumbine Consumer Protection Award for Excellence in Food Protection
The National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO) announced Minneapolis Environmental Health as the recipient of the 2019 Samuel J. Crumbine Consumer Protection Award for excellence in food protection at the local level.
This award is given annually to local environmental health jurisdictions that demonstrate unsurpassed achievement in providing outstanding food protection services to their communities.
The jury reviewing Crumbine Award nominations were impressed with Environmental Health’s efforts in the following ways:
- Strong evidence of quality assurance through use of peer inspections including inter-agency inspections.
- The Serving Safety program growth from 2013 to 2018.
- Comprehensive response to emerging food trends.
- Strong outreach programs, especially with respect to the numerous ethnic communities served, with culturally diverse and appropriate materials and training.
- Increase in staff resources, which represents monumental accomplishments.
- Effective large-scale planning efforts to reduce foodborne illness risk factors at public events.
The award is named for one of America’s most renowned health officers and health educators, Samuel J. Crumbine, M.D. (1862-1954). The Samuel J. Crumbine award encourages innovative programs and methods that:
- Reduce or eliminate the occurrence of foodborne illnesses,
- Recognizes the importance of food protection at the local level, and
- Stimulates public interest in food service sanitation.
In addition to English, team members speak Spanish, Somali, Hmong, Thai, Lao, Oromo, Amharic and Mongolian.
See a health inspector on the job
Health Inspector Kenya Urena-Muro visits about 350 businesses in Minneapolis each year. A large part of her job is building relationships with restaurant operators and managers to make sure the food served in our community is safe.
Food safety materials for businesses
Visit the Food Safety web page for useful checklists, cooling and temperature logs, and other resources.
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Environmental Health Newsletters
Environmental Health - Food, Lodging & Pools works to protect the health and safety of the public.
We do this by inspecting
- Food businesses
- Hotels and Motels
- Swimming pools
- Body art businesses
- Laundry and dry cleaning operations
- Tanning businesses
- Conduct health inspections
- Investigate complaints and outbreaks
- Enforce applicable city ordinances, state laws, and federal regulations.
- Team members speak English, Spanish, Somali, Hmong, Portuguese, Lao, Thai, and Korean.
We work closely with our partners to protect the health and safety of the public and to support our businesses.
Our partners include
- Minnesota Department of Health ( MDH)
- Minnesota Department of Agriculture ( MDA )
- U.S. Food and Drug Administration ( FDA )
- U.S. Department of Agriculture ( USDA )
- University of Minnesota
Should you require a reasonable accommodation in order to fully participate, or information in an alternative format, please contact 612-673-2301.
Para asistencia 612-673-2700 - Rau kev pab 612-673-2800 - Hadii aad Caawimaad u baahantahay 612-673-3500.
Last updated Apr 7, 2020