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Sanitation Permit

A. Legal Authority

  • Chapter 321-11, HRS, Department of Health
  • Hawaiʻi Public Health Regulations, Chapter 1-A, Food Service and Food Establishment Sanitation Code

B. Purpose

The purpose of the sanitation regulations is to provide minimum requirements for the handling, processing and serving of foods to protect the public health, safety and welfare.

C. Applicability to Aquaculture

The need for a sanitation permit will depend on the specific nature of the aquaculture operation. Any person operating a food establishment must obtain a permit (Art. 1, Sec. 5, PHR). A food establishment means any place or portion thereof, maintained, used, or operated for the purpose of storing, preparing, serving, manufacturing, packaging, transporting, or otherwise handling food at the retail or wholesale level. The term includes any place where food is served or provided to the public, with or without charge, regardless of whether the food is consumed on or off premises.

Food establishments include: fish markets, fish-processing plants, or facilities for the production, preparation for sale, packing, storage, sale or distribution of any food. If a company is only harvesting and wholesaling to a processor or other permitted facility, a sanitation permit may not be required. Concerned aquaculture operations should check with the Sanitation Branch directly regarding the applicability of the requirements to any specific operation.

D. Administering Agency

The Sanitation Permit is administered by the Department of Health, Sanitation Branch.

Sanitation Branch Department of Health
591 Ala Moana Boulevard
Honolulu, Hawaiʻi 96813
Phone: 808-586-8000
Fax: 808-586-8040
Web site: (See web site at main branch for neighbor island offices)

E. Information Requirements

Permit applications can be obtained from the Sanitation Branch and online. Information needed includes the establishment name and location and owners name. There will be an inspection of the facility to review compliance with appropriate regulations.

F. Sequence of Filing

An applicant must apply for a permit prior to beginning construction, extensive remodeling or conversion work. Operation can begin pending a permit decision so long as the application has been made to the department.

G. Cost

Each application for issuance or renewal of a food establishment permit shall be accompanied by a fee payment. The fees are based on the total number of food operations conducted within the establishment, e.g., receiving, cold storage, cooling, display, etc. (see §11-12-7, HAR to determine the appropriate fees). In addition, there is a charge of $200 for food establishment plan review for new construction and$150 for remodeling.

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Department of Agriculture – Aquaculture and Livestock Services
99-941 Halawa Valley Street
Aiea, Hawaiʻi 96701-5602
Phone: 808-483-7130
Fax: 808-483-7110
Web site:


Pacific Region Aquaculture and Coastal Resource Hub
2525 Correa Road, HIG 238
Honolulu, HI 96822
Phone: (808) 956-7031

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