Retail Food Program


The Princeton Health Department conducts routine inspections and complaint investigations at all retail food establishments in Princeton. These inspections are conducted by trained and licensed New Jersey Registered Environmental Health Specialists. Inspectors work to educate retail food workers on best practices for safe food handling and take action as needed to enforce the code when necessary.

Regulated establishments include, but are not limited to:

Bakeries  *  Catering Facilities  *  Delis  *  Schools  *  Restaurants  *  Supermarkets  * Temporary Events  * Mobile Units 


Restaurant inspection reports are available upon request from the retail establishment directly, or through the Health Department. 

What Inspectors Evaluate

While on-site, inspectors focus on evaluating foodborne illness risk factors and interventions, focusing on regulations outlined in N.J.A.C 8:24 (Chapter 24) Sanitation in Retail Food Establishments. Risk factors are improper practices identified as the most common factors resulting in foodborne illness, while interventions act as control measures to prevent foodborne infection.

Operating Requirements

If you are interested in opening a retail food establishment in Princeton, an application is required (see sidebar for forms). Construction permits, change of owner permits, and other licenses may be required based upon your specific situation. 

To assist retailers, both new and existing, listed below are common needs encountered in the process of designing, opening, and operating a retail food establishment.

  • All retail food establishments require a plan review, whether you are planning to construct a retail food establishment or you purchase an existing establishment. Change of ownership requires plan review and establishments must be brought into compliance for current regulations.
    • Pre-planning guidance includes a checklist you can follow before you submit for a plan review and compiles various resources to help understand operating requirements.
  • Single occupancy restrooms at all retail establishments, proposed and existing, are required to be unisex under Board of Health Ordinance 2019-26.
  • Food handler training is required of all retail food workers. Establishments must have a manager-level certified individual to oversee the facility's operations and all workers shall have basic retail food handler training.