Skip to main content
California Department of Education Logo

Health and Safety Permit and Fire Inspection


Nutrition Services Division Management Bulletin

Purpose: Policy, Action Required

To: Child and Adult Care Food Program Agencies

Attention: Program Operators

Number: CACFP-07-2016

Date: January 2017

Reference: U.S. Department of Agriculture Policy Memoranda CACFP 15-2012, CACFP 05-2015, and SFSP 07-2015, Food and Nutrition Service Instruction 796-2, Revision 4, Financial Management—Child and Adult Care Food Program

Supersedes: Management Bulletin CACFP-04-2015

Subject: Health and Safety Permit and Fire Inspection Requirements for License-exempt Centers


This Management Bulletin (MB) supersedes MB CACFP-04-2015 and provides clarification on health and safety permit and fire inspection requirements in the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) for license-exempt centers.

All license-exempt agencies that prepare food on site or have food delivered from a vendor are considered a food facility under the California Retail Food Code (CalCode), and are required to annually obtain a health and safety permit and fire inspection (Title 7, Code of Federal Regulations [7 CFR], sections 226.17a[d], 226.6 [d][1][v], and 226.6[d][2]). However, according to the California Child Day Care Act, the Health and Safety Code (HSC) Division 2, Licensing Provisions [1200–1796.63], Chapter 3.4, California Child Day Care Act [1596.70–1596.895], Article 1. General Provisions and Definitions [1596.70–1596.799], HSC 1596.792, and HSC 1596.793, certain license-exempt agency types do not have to obtain health and safety permits and fire inspections.

Consequently, the action this MB requires does not apply to the following license-exempt agency types:

  • At-risk afterschool care centers, and school age centers (SAC), operated by, and located in, schools that participate in the National School Lunch Program (NSLP) or School Breakfast Program (SBP)
  • Boys and Girls Clubs
  • Boy Scout sites
  • Campfire USA sites
  • Crisis nurseries
  • Girl Scout sites
  • Military organizations
  • Public (federal, state, county, and city) at-risk afterschool care centers
  • Tribal organizations
  • Young Men’s Christian Association sites
  • Young Women’s Christian Association sites
  • 4H Clubs
License-exempt Agency Types That Must Obtain Health and Safety Permits and Fire Inspections

Federal CACFP regulations do not require at-risk afterschool care centers, SAC, or emergency shelters to be licensed; however, they must meet state or local health and safety standards (7 CFR, sections 226.17a[d], 226.6 [d][1][v], and 226.6[d][2]).

All license-exempt sites that prepare food on site or have food delivered from a vendor are considered a food facility under the CalCode, and are required to annually obtain a health and safety permit and fire inspection (7 CFR, sections 226.17a[d], 226.6 [d][1][v], and 226.6[d][2]). This includes sites that have shelf stable meals but serve milk. Procedures to obtain documentation of health and safety permits vary by county. Procedures to obtain documentation of fire safety inspections vary by city.

Health and safety standards for license-exempt centers may differ depending on the building or location of the site, the structure of the program, and the type of meal services offered. For example, a center that serves both a snack and supper may be required to meet different health and safety standards than one that serves only a snack. Similarly, a center that prepares its own meals may be subject to more stringent health and safety standards than a site that serves vended meals.

Note: Agencies that sponsor sites for which permits and inspections are required may find it more convenient (i.e., cost- and time-efficient) to obtain SAC licenses from the California Department of Social Services than to obtain local safety permits and inspections.

Action Required
  1. All agencies participating in the CACFP with license-exempt at-risk afterschool care, SAC, or emergency shelters that are not operated by, and located in, schools participating in the NSLP or SBP, or are not operated by any of the agency types listed earlier in this MB, must contact their local environmental health jurisdiction to notify them of the type of food service provided and to request written documentation to show that all sites are meeting their local health and safety requirements.

    To find more information about your local environmental health jurisdiction, refer to the California Conference of Directors of Environmental (CCDEH) Environmental Health Department Web Sites Web page at http://www.ccdeh.com/component/comprofiler/userslist/28-eh-department-websites?Itemid=207.

  2. Once written documentation of compliance with health and safety and fire safety requirements has been received, centers must scan and upload these documents into the Checklist section of the Child Nutrition Information and Payment System (CNIPS). Please follow the steps below to upload your documents.

  3. At-risk afterschool care centers
  • Select Details next to the Checklist.

  • Select a site name link under the CACFP Sites heading if it is an active link.

  • Select the Current Year School Calendar paperclip icon to upload the report that pertains to this site. Then title it Health and Safety.

  • Check the box verifying that the document has been submitted to the California Department of Education (CDE).

  • Select Save to save and complete the checklist.

  • Select Finish to return to the Checklist Summary menu.

  • Select Back to return to the Application Packet menu.

  1. Emergency shelters and SAC
  • Select Details next to the Checklist.

  • Select the agency name link under the Agency heading if it is an active link.

  • Select any icon that has a paperclip, such as Organizational Chart, upload your report and title it Health and Safety.

  • Check the box verifying that the document has been submitted to the CDE.

  • Select Save to save and complete the checklist.

  • Select Finish to return to the Checklist Summary menu.

  • Select Back to return to the Application Packet menu.

If you have difficulty uploading these documents into the CNIPS, you may fax them to the CACFP Unit at 916-323-1952 or e-mail them to your assigned CACFP specialist. Please include your CNIPS ID number and the name of your CACFP specialist on all faxed documents.

Note: Following the release of this MB, the CDE will individually contact the agencies that need to meet this requirement, to better assist them with the process.

Fees for Health and Safety Permits and Fire Inspections

The CACFP does not include additional funds for health and safety permits and fire inspections; however, fees charged for inspections and permits are allowable costs under the CACFP (Food and Nutrition Service Instruction 796-2, Revision 4, Financial Management—Child and Adult Care Food Program). Agencies may use federal meal or snack reimbursement funds to pay these invoices. When submitting your annual budget in the CNIPS, you can put these costs under line item Other.

Vendor Health Certifications

Vendors providing meals and/or snacks to CACFP sponsors must have state or local health certification for the facilities in which they prepare meals. Agencies participating in the CACFP must obtain a copy of the current health certifications from their vendor. The vendor must ensure that all health and sanitation requirements of the CalCode and Chapter 3.4 of the California HSC are met at all times.

Contact Information

To find more information about obtaining a health and safety permit from your local environmental health jurisdiction, please visit the CCDEH Environmental Health Department Web page at http://www.ccdeh.com/component/comprofiler/userslist/28-eh-department-websites?Itemid=207 and click on your county and region. Please contact your city government to find more information about obtaining a fire inspection.

If you have any questions regarding this subject, please contact your county’s CACFP specialist. A list of CACFP specialists is available in the Download Forms section of the CNIPS, Form ID CACFP 01.

You can also contact Nancy Charpentier, CACFP Office Technician (OT), by phone at 916-327-2991 or 800-952-5609, Option 3, or by e-mail at ncharpentier@cde.ca.gov, or Leslie Schar, Community Nutrition Programs Administration OT, by phone at 916-324-6153 or by e-mail at lshcar@cde.ca.gov, to be directed to your CACFP specialist.

If you have CNIPS technical questions or need your password reset, please contact the CNIPS Help Desk by phone at 800-952-5609, option 6, or by e-mail at cnips@cde.ca.gov.

Questions:   Nutrition Services Division | 800-952-5609
Last Reviewed: Tuesday, January 24, 2017
Related Content
Recently Posted in Nutrition