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Environmental Health

Food Safety Program: Caterer Permits

A caterer is any person (or entity) who supplies food and beverages and/or related services to any off premise public or private function. Caterers are required to obtain a permit to operate from the Department of Public Health.

Obtaining a Permit

Refer to the Fee Schedule in the Helpful Links for information on application fees. Send all application forms and documents to:

  • Environmental Health Section
  • Attn: Food Safety Program
  • 1390 Market Street, Suite 210
  • San Francisco, CA 94102

To obtain a permit to operate, you must submit the following materials:

  1. Permit Application Packet (pdf) - This packet includes an Application for Food Permit to Operate, a Labor Law Checklist for San Francisco Business Owners, a Declaration of Healthy and Safe Working Conditions, and a Workers' Compensation Declaration.
  2. Copy of caterer's Certified Food Safety Certificate
  3. Copy of Catering Menu
  4. Completed Commissary Kitchen Verification Form (pdf) by owner of catering facility.
  5. Operating Schedule: days and hours caterer is operating at the commissary.
  6. Floor plan of Commissary: indicate all equipment, sinks, and storage spaces.
  7. A nonrefundable application Fee in the form of a check or money order made out to San Francisco Department of Public Health.
  8. Operation Plan: brief description of safe food handling practices in regards to the protection of food, equipment, and utensils from contamination and/or temperature abuses during transport from commissary to events.