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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 1) Application for Food Permit to Operate, 2) a Labor Law Checklist for San Francisco Business Owners, 3) a Declaration of Healthy and Safe Working Conditions, 4) and a Workers' Compensation Declaration. Note – All documents share be filled out and submitted with application fee in order to issue the Health Permit.
  2. Copy of caterer's Certified Food Safety Manager’s Certificate.
  3. Copy of catering menu or sample menu.
  4. Completed Commissary Kitchen Verification Form (pdf) by owner of catering facility, commissary, or restaurant owner.
  5. Floor plan of kitchen and food storage space: indicate all equipment, sinks, prep space and storage spaces.
  6. Standard Operating Procedure: 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.
  7. Copy of SF Business Registration Certificate with commissary kitchen address as the Business Location.
  8. Copy of Seller’s Permit from the Board of Equalization with commissary kitchen address as the Business Location.
  9. A nonrefundable Application Fee in the form of a check or money order made out to San Francisco Department of Public Health.

**Important** The Caterer Health Permit is location specific and cannot be transferred to another kitchen without approval from the Health Department.  Application fee may apply for transfer of commissary.