Catering and Other General Food Service Operations Health Permitting

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 Food Service/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.

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 permitted commercial kitchen.  

A commissary form completed and signed by both the permit holder of the permitted commercial kitchen and individual requesting the catering permit must accompany the health permit application. Download the catering application packet (including the commissary form) here.

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 commissary location. Caters who are also the permit holder of the commissary facility in which food storage and preparation activities occur will not be required to obtain a catering health permit in addition to a commissary 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.

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 Food Service/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.

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

Environmental Health Division

Monday - Friday 8-5

2156 Sierra Way Suite B San Luis Obispo , CA 93401

Tel: (805) 781-5544

Fax: (805) 781-4211

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the difference between a caterer and a mobile food facility?

A "mobile food facility" is any vehicle used in conjunction with an approved and permitted commissary or other permanent food facility, upon which food is sold or distributed retail.

A food service/caterer means a person, business, or food facility that is contracted or hired to prepare, transport, and serve food, beverages, and/or related services to the public. The food is stored and prepared in an approved, permitted, commissary/permanent food facility. Review the permit application packet for more information.

Environmental Health Supervisors

Laurie Salo (805) 781-5552; [email protected]

  • Body Art, Food Protection, Swimming Pools and Spas, and Vector Programs

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

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

Aaron LaBarre (805) 781-5595; [email protected]

  • Hazardous Materials (CUPA) Programs