Office: 908-204-3070
After Hours: 908-766-1122
Fax: 908-204-3075

262 South Finley Ave
Basking Ridge, NJ

Planning a New or Remodeling an Existing Food Establishments

The Bernards Township Health Department is responsible for reviewing your application to operate a retail food establishment.  Plans must be submitted at least 30 days prior to construction or renovation.


Thoroughly review a copy of the Chapter 24-Sanitation in Retail Food Establishments and Food and Beverage Vending Machines.  To access this document click above.

  • Discuss any unanswered questions regarding licensing and plan review with the health department during a scheduled meeting. This meeting is not mandatory; however, if you would like to discuss matters prior to plan submission, please use this process. Call the health department to schedule this inspection, as early as possible in the planning stages (908-204-3071).
  • Complete the Application for Retail Food Establishment Plan Review, which is to be submitted with the plans and specifications and appropriate fees.
  • Do not begin construction of the facility prior to receiving approval from the Bernards Township Health Department.
  • A pre-opening inspection is required prior to the planned opening. It is best to schedule this inspection at least 2 weeks prior to the planned opening.
  • If the water source is a well, have the water tested by a NJ certified laboratory prior to opening. You will be required to test the water at least 4 times each year and have the results submitted to this department.
  • A copy of the proposed menu must be submitted with the application.


Plans and specifications for food service facilities must include, where applicable, data relating to the grounds, building exterior, and such any other information necessary for review. The plans must be clear, concise, legible, to scale and be of such size as to enable all information to be clearly shown.

The following information must be included on the plans:


All floors must be smooth, easily cleanable and of a light color. All construction details must clearly show the following:

  • Construction materials
  • Location of floor drains
  • Details on juncture between floors and walls

Walls and ceilings:

Kitchen walls must be smooth, easily cleanable and be of a light color. Ceilings must be clean and in good repair. Complete details must be provided, including:

  • Materials
  • Finish
  • Color

Doors and Windows:

  • Indicate self-closing devices on doors where required.
  • Indicate screening or other insect control devices.


  • Indicate placement of all fixtures (in relation to equipment)
  • Indicate illumination level (in foot candles) for all areas; including toilet rooms, storage area, etc.

Specific light intensities must be shown for food preparation areas and utensil washing areas.
Chapter 24 sets the following standards:

  • All food prep areas must have at least 30 foot candles of light.
  • All utensil and equipment storage areas and in lavatory and toilet areas, at least 20 foot candles of light.
  • In dry food storage areas, in walk in refrigerators, and in all other areas, at least 10 foot candles of light.
  • Light shields must be provided in food prep areas.


Detailed plumbing plans must be submitted to the plumbing inspector for approval. Plumbing must comply with the NJ Uniform Construction Code. In addition, the plans to this department must include:

  • All hand washing sinks- provide specifications
  • Three compartment sinks (where applicable)- provide specifications
  • Cross Connection control
  • Drinking fountain locations
  • At least one utility sink or curbed cleaning facility with floor drain shall be provided and used for cleaning mops similar wet floor cleaning tools.

Toilet and Hand Washing Facilities:

Hand washing sinks must be available in food prep area and counter area. Detailed plans must be submitted to the plumbing and building inspector for review. In addition, please submit the following on the plans to our department:

  • Provide rest room locations. Patrons must have access to rest rooms in “eat-in” facilities. Patron access may not be through food prep areas.
  • Indicate dressing and/or locker rooms for employees (some type of storage facilities for personal items are required).
  • Restroom doors must be self-closing. If there are no windows, ventilation system must be installed.
  • Garbage can with lid shall be provided in Ladies room.
  • Employee “hand wash” sign must be posted in all rest rooms.>


Method for sanitization must be provided. This includes type of sink or dishwasher. Manufacturer’s specifications are required.

Food Storage Areas:

  • Indicate construction of floors, walls and ceilings.
  • Indicate ventilation of storage rooms.
  • Indicate location and construction of storage shelves.

Food Displays:

  • Indicate counter sneeze guards or other protective devices.


  • Design and Construction: A list of all equipment must be prepared an addendum to the plans showing the manufacturer and the model for all equipment.  

Equipment and Utensil Storage:

  • Adequate storage facilities for all equipment such as tableware, kitchenware, utensils, etc. must be clearly shown.
  • Complete details must be included for running water dipper wells for frozen dippers, including water inlet, waste connection, etc.
  • Equipment must be located either far apart for easy cleaning or 1/32” space between. If exposed to seepage, equipment to be sealed to adjoining equipment or to walls.  


  • Stoves, ovens, grills, fryers, etc. must have a ventilation system exhausting to the outside. This system must also meet fire codes.
  • Hoods should have filters. The complete plan for the ventilation system must be provided to the Construction Official. Compliance with the NJ Uniform Construction Code is required.


  • Describe method of refuse storage. List type of container and number of containers.
  • Describe facilities to be provided for storage of refuse containers, garbage room, storage rack or platform, etc.
  • Indicate facilities provided for cleaning of refuse containers. Waste generated in the cleaning of refuse containers must be disposed of in an approved manner.
  • List the name of the refuse collector, frequency of collections, and name and location of disposal site.

Grease Trap:

  • Provide the size and specification of the grease trap.
  • Provide the name, address and phone number of individual of individual contracted to service grease trap.
  • The township where the restaurant is located may have specific requirements regarding grease traps. If so, compliance with town requirements is necessary.
  • Number of seats and hours of operation must be provided.

Sewerage Disposal System:

  • Provide the type of sewage disposal system serving the restaurant (individual septic system of public sewer).
  • If the restaurant is served by an individual septic system, you must provide proof of compliance with NJAC 7:9A-Standards for Individual Subsurface Sewage Systems.

Outside Contractors:

  • Provide the names, addresses and phone numbers of the required contractors.
  • Exterminator
  • Garbage removal company

Food Manager:

  • Provide the name of the individual responsible to perform the requirements of the food manager. The title and date of the NJ Department of Health approved food manager’s course must also be provided.