Food Protection Program

The Food Protection Program is responsible for ensuring that all retail food service facilities in Howard County serve food that is free from disease or contamination. Our Program licenses facilities such as restaurants, grocery and convenience stores, and school cafeterias. Additional licenses are also issued to mobile and temporary food vendors operating within Howard County. In addition to inspecting and monitoring retail food facilities, we also assist State and Federal authorities with food recalls, and illness investigations. 

To report nuisance conditions or potential health issues you have observed, fill out the Health Related Issues Complaint Form or contact 410-313-1772.


If you think you are sick due to eating bad food or food product, contact the Bureau of Environmental Health at 410-313-1772.  After business hours, leave a message with your call back information and we will return your call first thing the morning of the following day.


Maryland State Division of Food Control

To read the PDF version of the:

Food Code in English click here.
Food Code in Spanish click here.
Food Code in Korean click here.


Code for Animals in Food Facilities

Revised Food Service Facility Regulations

In July 2008, Howard County passed a resolution (ENR CR66-2008) to update existing regulations for food service facilities. Changes in the Howard County food regulations became necessary after both the FDA and State of Maryland updated their food codes. The resolution provides updated definitions used in the regulations. In addition, a previous requirement to have staff at food facilities complete a certified food manager program was expanded to now require trained staff to be present at higher risk facilities during all operating hours. In addition to the resolution, a corresponding change to the County Health Code was made to update references to the food regulations and food handling provisions. The resolution became effective on July 7, 2008, but several clauses in the resolution do not take effect until September 1, 2008.
To view, or save a copy of the regulations you can click on the following link:
Our Program has upgraded this website to provide you with more detailed information about the food inspections we conduct. You may receive inspections for each of the retail food facilities in Howard County if you contact the Program at 410-313-1772. The inspection reports include a summary of violations that were found, but do not currently include the inspectors comments on the violations.
Excluded Non-Profit Organization
Food Safety Tips & Requirements
Food Talk (subscriptions available thru Setana Publishing, LLC)
          This publication was reproduced with permission of Setana Publishing. The posting of this article does not serve as an endorsement of this company.

Minimum Cooking Temperatures
Wash Your Hands (in English and Spanish)

Food Service Facility Information:

Pit Beef/Charcoal Pit Requirements
Snowball Stand Requirements
Farmer's Market Food License Application
Standards for the Dispensing of Food from Temporary Facilities
Temporary Food Vendor Checklist
Temporary Food Establishment Application

Requirements for Opening a Food Service Business
HACCP Plan Guidelines
Plan Review Process for Foodservice Facilities 2013
Food Service Manager Card Application
Public Information Request