Restaurant, bar, and hotel licensing

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DIA regulates food businesses like restaurants, bars (including those that only serve beverages), cafeterias, catering operations, mobile food trucks, farmers markets, temporary events, vending machines, grocery and convenience stores, bakeries and home bakeries, and food processing plants and warehouses. DIA also regulates hotels, motels, and inns (including bed-and-breakfast inns). 

Complaints

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Submit a complaint for DIA to review about:

  • Restaurants, bars, grocery stores, home bakeries, etc.
  • Hotels, motels, or bed-and-breakfast inns
  • Nursing homes, assisted living programs, hospitals, etc.
  • Dependent adult abuse
  • Social or charitable gambling violation
  • Administrative law judges who work for DIA

Direct Care Worker Registry

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In Iowa, only certified nursing assistants (CNAs), also referred to as nurse's aides, are placed on the Direct Care Worker Registry. Find out how to be added to the registry, how to transfer to the Iowa registry, how to transfer to another state registry, how to stay active on the registry, how to update your own information in the registry, and more.

Social & charitable gambling

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DIA regulates games of skill or chance, raffles, bingo, social gambling and amusement devices in Iowa. Qualified organizations may obtain a gambling license to conduct fund-raising activities benefiting educational, civic, public, charitable, patriotic, or religious purposes. License holders may also login here to file a gambling report for 2021.

Consumable hemp

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DIA handles registration for consumable hemp retailers and manufacturers. Consumable hemp products include, but are not limited to: food, chew or snuff, or topical application (e.g., lotions, tinctures). Consumable hemp products do not include those intended to be introduced into the human body by any method of inhalation, which are prohibited under Iowa Code 204.14A. Violation of Iowa Code 204.14A(1) is a criminal offense (serious misdemeanor).

Records

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Records requests can be made by filling out DIA's online form, by phone (515.281.7102), fax (515.242.6863), or mail, or in person at DIA's main office in the Lucas State Office Building, 321 E. 12th Street, Des Moines, Iowa 50319. Some records you can access online via DIA's online databases, such as health facility reports and certified nursing assistant status on the Iowa Direct Care Registry, and hotel, restaurant, and other food inspections.

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New 2022 food license-related legislation

The 89th Iowa General Assembly passed new legislation (HF2431) during the 2022 session that affects food licensing rules in Iowa.

Home food processing establishment licenses

HF2431 created a new home food processing establishment (HFPE) license. This license replaces the home bakery license and adds the ability for licensees to make, package, and process additional food products. 

New HFPE license applications are now being accepted. Please visit the USA Food Safety portal to apply online.

To view additional information about the new HFPE license, visit the "Food Licenses" section on the main food licensing page.

“Cottage” food changes

HF 2431 also expands what foods can be prepared in the home and offered for sale directly from a producer to a consumer without licensing or inspections. Although there are some exceptions, beginning July 1, 2022, most foods that do not need to be kept cold or hot for safety may be sold directly to the consumer, provided they meet certain labeling requirements. Additional information on cottage foods will be available soon on our website. Click here to view the latest available cottage food law information. Or, click the blue button link below to sign up for DIA food business licensing news via email or SMS text.

Is it a cottage food, or is a home food processing establishment license needed?

New health care employment agency registration

The 89th Iowa General Assembly passed new legislation (HF2521) during the 2022 session requiring health care employment agencies that provide direct care staff to certain health care facilities in Iowa to register with DIA and pay an annual registration fee. Until such time that new administrative rules can be written and new procedures and mechanisms have been created and put into place, agencies will be unable to register with DIA, nor will they be penalized for noncompliance. 

Once this occurs, the provisions of the newly-created Iowa Code 135Q will be enforced. It is expected that DIA will begin accepting this information in the fall. The administrative rules will be noticed and posted for comment soon.

Please check DIA's website for details moving forward, or click the blue button link below to sign up for updates about health care employment agency registration via email or SMS text.

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DIA Press Releases

If you would like to receive press releases issued by the Iowa Department of Inspections and Appeals, please click the link below.

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Events, food trucks, farmers markets

The weather's warming up - do you need to apply for a food license? Make sure you apply well enough in advance so you don't have any issues getting your license on time!

  • Farmers market licenses cost $150, and applications should be submitted at least two weeks before the event.
  • Temporary food establishment licenses (both single event and annual) should be submitted at least 30 days before the event. Single event licenses cost $50. Annual licenses are $200.
  • Event registrations cost $50 and applications should be submitted at least 60 days before the event.
  • Mobile food unit licenses cost $250 for an annual license and should be submitted at least 30 days before operating.

Visit DIA's main page for food and hotel licensing, which includes information on mobile food unit licenses.

Learn how to apply for a temporary food establishment license online by watching the video