Caterers supply food and related services to clients at off premises private or public functions. All food must be prepared at a permitted food facility that has been previously approved by Environmental Health to serve as a "commissary" for the catering operation.
Caterers are subject to the California Retail Food Code and must acquire a valid health permit. To obtain a valid health permit submit an application packet with the appropriate fee to Environmental Health. For individual pages from the application packet, please see our Permits, Forms & Fees page.
Caterer- Same Owner from Permitted Food Facility
Restaurants and markets that provide catering services are required to obtain a catering permit in addition to their current annual health permit. An example is when a facility prepares the food, transports the food to the event to be catered, and provides staff services and/or multi-use utensils.
A facility that prepares food for an event and only delivers food and disposable utensils with no additional services provided does not require a catering permit.
Cooks-for-Hire are individuals hired to prepare and/or serve food at an client’s home or private function. Cook-for-Hire must either use client’s food or shop directly prior to arriving at the client’s home or private function. All food prepared by a Cook-for-Hire is prepared and handled at the location of the private function. No food is allowed to be stored, prepared, or handled at the private home of the Cook-for-Hire. Cooks-for-Hires are not required to obtain a health permit, but must fill out a Cook-for-Hire Statement in order for their Business License Application to be signed off.
Cooks-for-Hire are not regulated by Environmental Health. Due to the risks involved by a Cook-for-Hire using his or her own personal equipment, it is highly recommended by this office that all equipment be provided by the client and not the Cook-for-Hire him/herself.