Catering Operations Health Permitting

What is the process?

Read and Understand the Operational Guidelines

  1. Read and understand the Catering Operation Requirements reference document. 
  2. Read and understand the Shared Use Permanent Food Facility Guidelines reference document.
  3. Read and understand the Dependent Food Service Operator Guidelines reference document.

Submit the permit application and supplemental forms

Complete and submit the following items listed below.

Individual forms can be downloaded below:

1. Health permit application

2. Proposed menu and food service operations

3. Shared Permanent Food Facility Review Form

All caterers must operate in conjunction with an approved permanent food facility permitted by Environmental Health Services to perform all food preparation activities in advance of off-site events as well as to store all food and equipment during non-operational periods.

The shared permanent food facility will be reviewed for approval by this department prior to granting a permit to operate. The proposed menu and food operations will determine the permanent food facility needs of the caterer. 

4. Shared Permanent Food Facility Use Agreement Form

A use agreement form completed and signed by both the permit holder of the shared permanent food facility and the caterering operation permit holder is required. Please note, if you are the permit holder for both the catering operation and the permanent food facility, then this submission of a signed commissary form is not required. Click here to visit our page on obtaining a food facility health permit for information on how to permit your permanent food facility location. Caters who are also the permit holder of the permanent food facility in which food storage and preparation activities occur will not be required to obtain a separate catering health permit in addition to a permanent food facility health permit.

5. Written Operational Procedures for Catering Operators

Provide proof of food safety certification

Caterers must successfully pass a food safety certification course and provide proof of certification upon request for a permit to operate or within sixty (60) days of obtaining a permit to operate. A food handler card obtained through an online course will not be accepted. Download a list of food safety certification course options.

Pay health permit fee

The permit fee is due with the application. Please refer to the Environmental Health Permit Fee Schedule for more information.

Schedule Inspection

Contact us if you have any questions or to schedule an inspection of your Catering Operation prior to beginning operation

Await Inspector Approval to Begin Operation

It is unlawful to begin operation of a new Catering Operation without first receiving approval from an inspector in addition to a valid Health Permit to Operate.

The inspector will grant approval to begin operation upon completion of an initial inspection.

Who can use this service?

This service is available to any individual wishing to obtain an initial permit or renew a permit to conduct a Catering Operation within San Luis Obispo County.

Is there a charge for this service?

Please refer to our Fee Schedule or contact our office at (805) 781-5544.

When and where is this service offered?

This service is available throughout the year during regular business hours except during scheduled holidays.

Please visit us, email us, contact us, or call our office to begin the process.

Location, directions and hours of operation

Click on location name to show hours of operation, directions and phone information

Frequently Asked Questions

Environmental Health Services Supervisors

Environmental Health Services is open Monday-Friday from 8am to 5pm. 

Cindy Rattigan (805) 781-5544 [email protected]

Jeremiah Damery (805) 781-5548  [email protected]

  • Beach Water Quality, Cross-Connection, Land Use, Small Public Water Systems, Water Well Programs and Vector Programs

Leslie Terry (805) 781-5553  [email protected]

  • Body Art, Food Safety, Public Swimming Pools and Spa Pools

Linnea Chandler (805) 781-4917  [email protected]

  • Hazardous Materials (CUPA) Programs