The California Uniform Retail Food Facilities Law (CURFFL) does not specifically address the permitting and regulation of caterers. The purpose of these guidelines is to provide a set of criteria that will assist regulators and other interested parties in providing consistent enforcement of CURFFL requirements with regard to catering operations.



A. Caterer: Any person who operates from a permitted food establishment and who supplies food and related services including, but not limited to, an off premises catered function.

B. Catering Vehicle: A vehicle upon which food, beverages and related serving equipment are transported to a catered function.

C. Cook-for-Hire: Any person hired to prepare and/or serve food at a private function. All food prepared by a cook-for-hire is handled at the location of the private function. No food is stored, prepared or handled at the private home of the cook-for-hire. No health permit is required.

D. Off Premises Catering Function: Any private or public function where a caterer provides food and related services for a person or persons at a location other than their permitted food establishment. A function occurring on premises is not covered by these guidelines.



A. A caterer must have a valid health permit. (Section 113920)

B. All food, prior to the function, shall be stored and prepared at the caterer’s permitted food establishment, or other approved food facility. (Section 113980 and 114010)

C. All utensils and equipment shall be washed and stored at the caterer’s permitted food establishment. Prior to use, all utensils shall be sanitized according to Sections 114060 and 114090.

D. At all times that the caterer has control over the food, including periods of storage, preparation, transportation and service, all food shall be adequately protected so as to be maintained pure and free of contamination, adulteration, and spoilage. (Sections 113980, 114010 and 114050)

E. Catering vehicles shall be maintained in a clean, sanitary condition. (Section 114040)

F. Utensils and equipment shall be protected from contamination. (Section 114060 and 114260(h))

G. All potentially hazardous food shall be transported, prepared and maintained at the appropriate temperatures specified in Section 113995 and 113996.

H. The caterer shall not provide home prepared food at a catered function.

I. All food handlers shall wash their hands and arms with cleanser and warm water before commencing work, immediately after using the toilet facilities, and as frequently as necessary to prevent contamination of food. (Section 114020)

J. Toilet facilities shall be available within 200 feet of the catered function. (Section 114299.5 (f))