Sauk County Environmental Health Manager Shayna Dye discusses the licensing process for food and recreational businesses Monday.

Interested residents, business owners and members of community groups had the opportunity Monday to learn about the types of licenses they may need and how to get them.

Sauk County Environmental Health Manager Shayna Dye explored the different aspects of state and county business licensing processes for both food-related and recreational businesses during an hourlong presentation.

“This material is very thick,” Dye said. “This material is not exciting and it can be difficult to get through.”

Dye discussed whether certain types of businesses need or qualify for a county license, what type of license they may require and answered questions about specific business operations.

Throughout the session, Dye examined the differences between retail food establishments, which require a sale of prepackaged or non-meal foods, and restaurants that prepare meals for on-site consumption.

The types of establishments determined whether businesses or organizations needed permits, and what types of permits they need. The explanations helped determine licensing needs for volunteers at First United Methodist Church in Baraboo.

Volunteers from the church attended the event to determine if events they sponsor and at which they serve food need to be licensed, as well as to determine if they were following proper food safety guidelines, said volunteer Mary Ellen Murray.

“We just had a concern about safe food handling, because we do so many events,” Murray said. “We want to be compliant.”

Because of the religious nature of the organization, events at the church do not fall into categories that need licensing, and are covered by exceptions in state and county licensing codes, such as meetings with food served, catered events or if they do not occur more than three times in a 12-month period, according to Dye.

Others like Doug and Trish Duren attended the session to learn if they needed licensing for a family-owned cabin, which they are interested in renting as campground space.

“We came to see what we needed to rent it out,” said Trisha Duren. “We’re just trying to figure out what kind of license we need.”

The state and county codes stipulate that if the Durens have more than three campsites, and advertise the grounds, they need a license and a site plan approved by the county, according to Dye.

Dye said she plans to host the event again next year, and would like to host similar events as there are updates and changes to state and county health and licensing codes.

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