Food Permits - Questions & Answers

Since August 2009, health officers with Manitoba Agriculture (AGR) have been enforcing the Food and Food Handling Establishment Regulation under The Public Health Act in non-federally licensed food processing and distribution facilities. In general, AGR is responsible for food safety from farms to the back door of retail outlets. Public health inspectors with Manitoba Health and Seniors Care continue to enforce the Food and Food Handling Establishment Regulation in the food service and food retail establishments, including farmers markets.  

Q1. Who needs to be a provincially-permitted food processing plant?

Anyone who commercially manufactures, processes, packages or distributes food for human consumption, and is not federally inspected or permitted by another jurisdiction is required to have a provincial permit.

Q2. What does federally licensed mean?

Manufacturers who produce food products for import, prepare food for export or to be sent across provincial or territorial boundaries must meet the requirements of the Safe Food for Canadians Regulations (SFCR).  Under these regulations, licensing, preventive controls and traceability requirements apply to food businesses.

Q3. How do I get a provincial permit?

  • First, contact the Food Safety and Inspection Branch, email
  • Review Provincial Permit Process and Contruction Requirements for Food Processors  (PDF 204KB).
  • Prior to commencing construction/renovation or conversion, the owner/operator must submit a completed registration form (PDF 55KB) to the local health officer for review.
  • The registration form must be accompanied with a clear and complete detailed drawing/plan, preferably to scale, with the required information and any other facts that may be pertinent to the review of the proposal. Required information includes:
    • the layout plan showing food preparation, processing, storage, service areas, number and type of plumbing fixtures and washrooms;    
    • a listing of all equipment and where it is to be located;    
    • a comprehensive list of food processed, packaged, handled, distributed or sold at the establishment.  
  • The registration form must be accompanied by a site plan which includes the boundaries delineating the area under inspection control, the location of all buildings on the premise, access roadways, fences and ancillary structures and separation distance from other industrial, commercial, municipal and residential structures.
  • The registration form must also include a schedule indicating the projected dates for commencement and completion of: construction and/or reconstruction of the structure, interior finishing, equipment installation, and the expected opening date.
  • The plans will be reviewed by the health officer to ensure regulatory requirements can be met.
  • Upon completion of the review, the health officer will advise that construction of the food processing establishment can proceed as proposed or notify the owner/operator of any non-compliance issues or concerns with the proposal that must be addressed.
    • Note: If there is to be a change in construction plans from what was originally submitted, before or during construction or renovation, it is the owner/operator’s responsibility to contact the health officer prior to making the changes and provide a new design plan for review showing the proposed changes.
  • It is the responsibility of the owner/operator to keep the health officer informed about when the food processing establishment is expected to be ready for inspection and give at least five working days notice for a permitting inspection.
  • A permit will only be issued after an inspection has been carried out and all construction is complete and regulatory requirements are met.
    • Note: For construction, renovation or conversion of food processing establishments within the City of Winnipeg, all plans and specifications must also be submitted to the city’s Planning, Property and Development Department
For further information please contact the Food Safety and Inspection Branch.