La Crosse County, Wisconsin

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Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Do I need a license to sell food?
A: Yes. The sale of food to the public is a highly regulated activity requiring proper facilities, approved equipment and a license from La Crosse County Health Department. There are a variety of food licenses such as restaurant, retail food store, mobile restaurant, mobile retail food store, temporary restaurant, and farmer markets.

Q: Can I prepare food at home and sell it to the public?
A: No. All food must be prepared in a licensed establishment. Homes cannot be licensed as restaurants.

Q: Why can restaurants sell food outside at Riverfest and Octoberfest?
A: The food vendors are licensed as temporary restaurants at the point of sale and must follow a specific set of food safety rules designed for this type of food service. Temporary restaurants must operate in conjunction with a public event and cannot operate for more than 14 consecutive days at one location.

Q: How much does a restaurant license cost?
A: The annual license fees vary depending on the complexity of the operation. Click here for the latest permit.

Q: Where can I get a farmer market license?
A: Licenses are available from the Health Department at 300 4th St. North, La Crosse for $35 at the Health Department Office or can be purchased at the market for $45.

Q: What can I sell when I have a farmerís market license?
A: Foods grown by the farmer such as fruits and vegetables that are raw and uncut, apple cider, honey, sorghum, and maple syrup may be sold with a farmer market license. Contact the Department at 608-785-9872 for a brochure on farmer markets.  You can also view info about the Farmer's Market by clicking here.

Q: Where can I get testing done for lead, asbestos, mold and radon?
A: The Health Department provides confidential consultation on these hazards and will direct you to certified private labs if necessary.

Q: Can I test my home for radon without hiring a radon inspector?
A: Yes. Testing for radon is a simple process provided the radon detector is placed in the proper location inside the home. The cost is approximately $22.

Q: Can mold be a serious problem inside my home?
A: Yes. Mold growth inside a home may cause respiratory illness to those individuals who have allergies to mold. There are more than 1,000,000 species of mold. Mold is really a moisture problem and any solution must involve removing the source of moisture.


Updated: 12/04/2009

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