Catering Operations Health Permitting

What is the process?

Step 1: Provide Signed Commissary Form

All caterers must store all food and equipment and perform all food preparation activities in a permanent permitted commercial kitchen.  

A Shared Primary Food Facility Use Agreement form completed and signed by both the permit holder of the permitted shared primary food facility and individual requesting the catering permit must accompany the health permit application. Click here to download the Shared Primary Food Facility Use Agreement form.

Please note, if you are a caterer and the permit holder of the facility in which the catering operation food storage and preparation activities will occur, then this step is not required. Please visit our page on obtaining a food facility health permit for information on how to permit your primary food facility. Caters who are also the permit holder of the primary kitchen facility in which food storage and preparation activities occur will not be required to obtain a catering health permit in addition to a primary food facility health permit.

Step 2: 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.

Step 3: Pay health permit fee

The permit fee is due with the application. Please refer to the Environmental Health Permit Fee Schedule for more information. Click here to pay fees online (no additional fees).

Step 4: Schedule Inspection

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

Step 5: 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 Supervisors

Leslie Terry

(805) 781-5553; [email protected]

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

Aaron LaBarre

(805) 781-5595; [email protected]

  • Body Art, Food Protection, Swimming Pools and Spas.

Peter Hague 

(805) 781-5554; [email protected]

  • Hazardous Materials (CUPA) Programs