The Division of Food and Lodging is responsible for protecting public health through licensing and inspection of restaurants, bars, lodging facilities, mobile home parks, campgrounds, bed and breakfast facilities, retail food stores, meat markets, bakeries, child care food service, school food service, salvage food establishments, small food manufacturers/ processors, tanning facilities, tattoo and body art facilities, electrologists and assisted living facilities. Inspection procedures ensure that these licensed establishments meet both sanitation and certain fire/life safety standards before opening to the public and while in operation.
The Division of Food and Lodging also has Memorandums of Understanding (MOU's) with nine local health units whereby the units provide inspection and licensing functions within their areas of jurisdiction. There are MOU's with three city health units and six multi-county health units:
- Bismarck Burleigh Public Health
- Central Valley District Health
- Custer Health
- Fargo Cass Public Health
- First District Health Unit
- Grand Forks Public Health
- Lake Region District Health Unit
- Southwestern District Health Unit
- Upper Missouri District Health Unit
The Division provides educational courses in safe food handling, reviews plans for new establishments and extensive remodeling projects, and helps investigate foodborne illness outbreaks.
The Division also serves as the Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) liaison in the state on issues related to manufactured food and pesticide residues in food.