How can I obtain a permit to operate a catering service or retail bakery from my house?

In no case will a permit be issued for a non-commercial [private] kitchen or residence in Nassau County. The provision of food to anyone outside your immediate family or circle of friends by definition would classify an operation as a catering service. The options would be to either buy or lease an existing business, construct one in owned or leased commercially zoned space, or sublease space from a foodservice operation currently under permit by the department.

How do I obtain a permit for a foodservice business in a commercially zoned space?

To secure a food establishment permit for an existing restaurant you must apply in person at the: Nassau County Health Department

Office of Food Protection – North Entrance
200 County Seat Drive, Mineola NY 11501

You should bring with you your corporate seal, names, addresses and home phone numbers of all corporate officers [if incorporated], federal tax ID#/or social security #, workers compensation and disability insurance policy information (carrier, policy # and expiration date) and a check for the permit fee [determined by the # of seats & type of operation]. Also, if you are building a new restaurant or renovating an existing one, you must first submit plans showing all equipment and sinks in detail to us before applying for a permit. You will be notified by mail if the plans have been approved.

Permits – Special Events and Temporary Food Service

My organization is having a special event. Do I need a permit?

The operation of any transient or non-transient carnival, circus, fair, exhibition or special event for purposes of public gatherings for a period greater than 24 hours, or if attendance is expected to exceed 500 persons, requires a special event permit issued by the Nassau County Department of Health. An application for a special event permit must be submitted to this Department at least 30 days prior to the scheduled event.

I will be serving food or having food vendors at my special event. Are there any additional permits required to serve food?

The popularity and success of street fairs, bazaars, carnivals, feasts and similar public gatherings has led to an increase in various types of food concessions at these events.

All food and drink concessions accompanying such a function are, by definition, Temporary Food Service Establishments. As such, they are governed by the regulations of Sub-part 14-2, New York State Sanitary Code, and are required to obtain and display a valid food establishment permit issued by the Nassau County Department of Health. Non-profit religious and charitable organizations sponsoring the affair are exempt from the fee for self-operated concessions but not from the requirement for a food establishment permit.

It is the sponsor's responsibility to provide the names of all concessionaires and to ensure that an application for each food concession permit is submitted to this Department at least three (3) business days prior to the scheduled opening of the event. Any establishment failing to obtain a valid food establishment permit will be enjoined from operating at the event. Concessionaires who apply for food permits must pay a fee based on the types of food sold and the duration of the event. The fee is to be paid by certified check or money order only – No personal checks or cash will be accepted. 

The issuance of the special permit to operate a carnival, circus, bazaar, exhibition or special event, which is separate and apart from the food establishment permit, is contingent upon satisfactory compliance with the above requirements.

If you have any questions, please contact our office at 516-227-9717.

 Do we need to obtain a permit for a function at our church (or other religious institution)?

There are conditions under which a permit would be required. Please call 516-227-9717 weekdays from 9:00 a.m. to 4:45 p.m. for clarification.