What is catering?

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, or commissary, that has been previously approved by Nevada County Environmental Health Department to serve the catering operation.

Catering trays with lasagna, rice, vegetables, potatoes, and fruit salad in a bowl.

Who needs a Catering Permit?

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.

Caterers are subject to the California Retail Food Code and must acquire a valid health permit.  To obtain a valid health permit submit a Caterer Application Packet and pay the appropriate fees.

The following operations DO NOT need a Catering Permit:

  • 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: Any person hired to prepare and/or serve food at a private residence using ingredients and equipment provided by the private residence. No food or utensils may be stored, prepared or handled at the private home of the cook for hire

The Nevada County Environmental Health Department is determined to be paperless by the end of 2017. We urge those that are applying for permits to do so online by completing the forms and emailing Environmental Health and to pay fees online

Forms and Publications