Food Permitting

The sale of food to the public requires a license, whether for a temporary one-day event, mobile vendor, bed and breakfast establishment, full service restaurant, caterer, or home based (residential) kitchen. This rule applies to vendors, whether non-profit or for-profit.  

If you are planning a food event, contact the Foothills Health District to discuss your event with the Health Agent at (413) 268-8404. The Agent will guide you through the process. Application/fee/other documents should be mailed to the Foothills Health District, PO Box 447, Haydenville, MA 01039

An exception to licensing is made for farm stands and farmer's markets that sell fresh uncut fruits and vegetables, unprocessed honey, maple syrup, and fresh eggs stored and maintained at a minimum of 45 degrees Fahrenheit.

An application to hold a temporary event should be made in plenty of advance time (30 days) to allow for processing, inspection, and permit issuance.

New restaurant establishments must submit a plan drawn to scale, an equipment list, proposed menu, and other documents for plan review and approval by the Board of Health.

Wholesale food vendors (those producing food for sale by a retail vendor) must be permitted by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health Food Protection Program.

At least one person who has been certified in food safety must be present in the food establishment/temporary event at all times.

Massachusetts operates under two sets of food regulations: portions of the Federal Food Code and additions or addendum to that code as contained in the State Code 105 CMR 590.000.

If you plan to open a new food establishment, or regularly hold temporary events, it is highly recommended that you obtain and read a copy of the Merged Food Code. This unofficial compilation of both codes is contained in a user friendly format.

Additional Resources