There are three ways to obtain a Processed Food Registration application:
- Fill out the online application
- Send an email to FDBfood@CDPH.CA.GOV
- Call the Food and Drug Branch at (800) 495-3232 and select the option for Processed Foods.
The process from application through inspection and approval can take several weeks to complete. Businesses should submit a PFR application at least 60 days before they want to begin manufacturing or warehousing of food products.
The business address is the location of processing or distribution activities. The mailing address can be any location where mail is received.
Processing of an application is a multi-step process. For an application to be fully processed, it must clear all the steps including the inspection component. At the end of this multi-step process, a disposition as to licensing is made and the firm is notified of the outcome.
Applications are processed in the order they are received. Submission of an incomplete application by the firm will cause delays in processing the application until all required information is made available to FDB. The owner must sign the application and complete the business operator and correspondent information at the bottom of the application.
Processing of an application starts when the application and application fees are received by the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) mailroom. All application/application fees are taken from the mailroom to the Cashier's office. The Cashier's office will make an initial processing of application fees and then will forward the application to the CDPH Accounting Office for processing. It can take up to a week before the FDB licensing desk receives the application.
Once FDB receives the application from the Accounting office, the application will then be screened for completeness. If an application is deemed complete, it will be entered into the Program's database and forwarded on to the District Office for facility inspection scheduling.
Once at the District Office, an application is screened for operational details and placed in the queue to be assigned to an inspector. An inspector will contact the firm to arrange for a pre-registration "new license inspection." You must then declare to the inspector if your firm is ready for inspection (i.e., not undergoing construction, equipment set up, not undergoing a city/county plan check, lacking required HACCP documentation when applicable, etc.). Inspection schedules are based on the priorities and workload of the Inspector assigned to conduct it. Typically, inspections should be conducted within 30 days after the application is received by the Licensing Desk.
Once an inspection is completed, the District Office Supervisor reviews the findings, and a disposition is made. The disposition is sent to the Licensing Desk for further processing. If the recommendation is to issue the license, the Licensing Desk will generate the license and mail out to the firm.
Typically, application processing times can take up to 60 days. In 2021, there has been a noticeable increase in processing times of applications. FDB is experiencing delays in processing of applications; in part due to the Covid-19 emergency coupled with an increased influx in applications and the Program's limited resources. Firms are advised to submit their fully completed application as soon as possible.
Due to the high volume of licensing/registration applications, FDB cannot verify receipt of your specific application. The fastest way to know if FDB received your application is to contact your bank and confirm if your check has cleared. Also, FDB is unable to provide a contact person or phone number to CDPH's Accounting department to see the check has been processed.
Yes. However, FDB cannot share information on application/renewal status if not an owner and/or an approved signer/authorized individual for the business.
If requesting a status of application/renewal, and the check has cleared, please provide a copy of the front and back of the check.
Application/License status inquiries should be submitted to FDBInfo@cdph.ca.gov. Please allow two business days for a response.
A firm may choose to send its application to FDB as an expedite. However, processing of the application will not be expedited. While FDB understands a firm may be eager to have its license as soon as possible, FDB is serving other stakeholders and applications are processed in the order they are received.
To avoid delays in processing an application, it is important that the firm/business submits a fully completed application without missing information. This includes fees and any required documentation.
No. Processing an application is a multi-step process that involves different offices. The processing steps are explained in detail under the question "What happens after I submit my PFR application?"
No. Submission of the PFR application does not authorize a firm to begin food processing. Additional steps must be completed before a firm is authorized to process and distribute food products.