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Food & Drug Protection Division

Food Program

I want to start my own food business. Now what?

Determine which agency regulates the type of business you want to start:

  • Restaurants, including catering operations, are regulated by county health departments.
  • Meat and meat-containing products are regulated by the N.C. Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services' Meat and Poultry Inspection Service.
  • Packaged foods other than meat products are regulated by the NCDA&CS Food and Drug Protection Division. Some can be produced in a home setting. No license required, but inspections can be made.
  • Seafood is regulated by the NCDA&CS Food and Drug Protection Division. Wholesale seafood dealers must fulfill training requirements.
  • Dairy products, including milk, frozen dessert, cheese and butter, are regulated by the NCDA&CS Food and Drug Protection Division. Licensing is required.
  • Wineries are regulated by several agencies, including the Federal Tax and Trade Bureau. Consult the Starting a Commercial Winery guide for more information.
  • Farmers do/do not need a business license to sell commodities grown on their farm.

Food and Drug Protection Division links

My business will be:

Other resources

Food Program, Daniel Gaines, Food Administrator
Mailing Address: 1070 Mail Service Center, Raleigh NC 27699-1070
Physical Address: 4400 Reedy Creek Road, Raleigh NC 27607-6465
Phone: (984) 236-4820; FAX: (919) 831-1323

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