Catering Operations Health Permitting

What is the process?

Read and Understand the Operational Guidelines

  1. Read and comply with the Requirements for Permanent Food Facility reference document, or refer to the California Retail Food Code.
  2. Read and understand the Catering Operation Requirements 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. 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 is eligible?

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

Monday - Friday 8-5

2156 Sierra Way Suite B
San Luis Obispo , CA 93401

Tel: (805) 781-5544

Fax: (805) 781-4211


A "catering operation" means a food service that is conducted from a permanent food facility (shared primary kitchen facility) approved for food reparation where food is served, or limited food preparation is conducted, at a location other than its permitted location as part of an off-site food service event or when operating in conjunction with a host facility.

A "dependent food service operation" is a person or business who performs a food service operation at or from a permanent food facility (shared primary kitchen facility) for which the dependent operator is not the permit holder. The food service typically involves direct sales to the customer at the shared primary kitchen 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.