Requirements for Catering & Remote Service Site Permits: Equipment and Food Service
This webpage is intended to provide guidance to those persons wishing to obtain a catering and remote service site permit. A full description of the regulatory requirements is available in the Regulations Governing the Sanitation of Food Establishments, Chapter 12.
This document covers additional specific structural, equipment and administrative requirements set forth for catering, banqueting and remote sale. All permanent support areas, bars and portable equipment are also subject to the structural requirements of Chapter 4 & Chapter 5, and as outlined in the Food Establishments General Provisions webpage.
Visit the Food Facilities Design Assessment and Permitting webpage for information regarding applications, appointments, design assessment meetings and the inspection and approval process.
Visit the Catering FAQ webpage for more information.
Catering Food Establishment means an approved food establishment that is serving or preparing food at a location other than its permitted location for a contracted food service event. This also includes a place of business or organization that routinely contracts with a catering food establishment to provide food items for individual sale to employees or members of that business, if the food was prepared in a commissary and transported, displayed, handled and offered for sale as specified in these regulations.
Event Location means an unpermitted location that is not owned by the caterer where food is distributed to guests at a contracted private event.
Permanent Catering Support Pantry/Banquet Support Pantry means a facility that is owned or leased by a caterer and serviced by, but remote from, the catering food establishment, for the purpose of conducting banquet service at the remote location, and that maintains at the remote location permanently installed food service equipment and or food storage.
Remote Service Site means a permitted location that is not owned by the caterer where food items, provided by the caterer, are sold by the piece to individual consumers for a limited period of time in any one 24-hour period.
Structural & Equipment Requirements
- A caterer must operate directly from a permitted kitchen that is capable of supporting the proposed operation (operation plans and menus must be submitted in writing).
- All food transport equipment must be NSF or equivalent, and capable of maintaining required temperatures (41°F±2° for cold foods / 135°F±2° for hot foods) and providing protection from contamination.
- The vehicle used for transportation must be constructed, equipped, and maintained in a manner that protects all food, equipment, utensils, tableware, and linen from contamination. The transportation vehicle must be designed so that:
- The food can loaded in a manner that prevents excessive shifting within the vehicle.
- The food can be strategically loaded to minimize heat exchange between hot and cold food.
- The food can be properly stored and segregated to protect it from any source of contamination.
- Direct transport equipment need not be powered, but if hot and/or cold holding equipment is provided by the caterer for use at the site of the banquet, the equipment must operate under power. Powered holding equipment is required if there is more than a 30 minute delay between arrival and service. On-site hot-holding boxes using jellied petroleum fuels must be shown to be designed for such use.
- Shelving or other fixtures must be available to prevent foods from being closer to 6 inches from the floor.
- The overall operation must be capable of maintaining required temperatures of and protection from contamination for all food products during service. Jellied petroleum fuels used in conjunction with chafing dishes for dish-up or buffet service may be used for service lasting no longer than four hours.
- Continuous food service lasting more than four hours will require approved (third-party, sanitation-certified commercial equipment), powered serving equipment to such as portable steam tables and refrigerated tables. Food shields / sneeze-guards will be required for any service open to the general public. Covered chafing dishes, long-handled serving ware, etc, are acceptable for private and semi-private events.
- A caterer must provide a self contained hand washing station or the venue must have a permanently plumbed hand washing station with hot and cold water service under pressure. A self contained hand washing station must be third-party, sanitation-certified to ANSI/NSF standards and be of commercial design, providing pressurized service of separate hot and cold water, and must be capable of containing at least 5 gallons of potable water, 2.5 gallons of hot water, and 7.5 gallons of waste water.
- The hand washing sink must be provided with dispenser-fed soap and paper-towels, and have a waste receptacle for paper towel waste.
- All equipment and wares must be transported back to the permitted kitchen for cleaning, unless a permitted support area is provided at the banquet hall or event venue.
- Caterers that cook or prepare food on-site must provide third-party sanitation-certified (to ANSI/NSF standard 4) cooking devices and food preparation tables or work surfaces.
- A catered event in a public venue must be within a reasonable distance of an approvable restroom (functional commode, hot and cold pressurized water service, dispenser-fed soap and towels, ventilated with self-closing door).
- A worksheet must be completed for this category and must include a comprehensive operational food handling plan.
- Onsite kitchens and permanent food holding or support areas in public venues, whether or not the particular event is open the general public, are required to obtain permanent food establishment permits.
Post Event Breakdown
- Open or PHF (TCS) not consumed at a remote service site or at an event location shall not be utilized by the caterer for any subsequent events unless the food was held at required temperatures and protected from contamination at all times.
- Any non-PHF (TCS) pre-packaged single-use articles including but not limited to cans or bottles of soda, individually apportioned condiments, and similar items may be retained for re-use.
- All soiled utensils, equipment, tableware, and linen shall be returned to the commissary at the completion of the catered event for cleaning, sanitizing, and storage.
- All food, waste, trash and debris shall be discarded in an approved manner.
- Catering from a permitted catering food establishment to an event location requires only that catering permit. Caterers operating a remote service site (point of sale direct to consumer) must have additional permits for each remote service site.
- Food offered for individual sale over the counter, including but not limited to sandwiches, cookies, bagels, or donuts shall be individually wrapped in food-grade material or placed in an approved food container. If sold at a remote self-service counter, all packaged food shall be labeled as specified in Chapter 3-602.11 of the food regulations.
- While permitted restaurants are not required to obtain a separate catering permit, they must notify SNHD that they provide that service.
Updated on: October 11, 2018