Schenectady County works hard to ensure that all food establishments in Schenectady County are clean, safe, and compliant with all food safety and sanitary requirements.
The Schenectady County Environmental Health Unit prevents and investigates foodborne illnesses, issues all permits to food service establishments, temporary food service events, and mobile food vending in Schenectady County, conducts routine food service inspections, and responds to consumer complaints.
A food service establishment is a place where food is prepared and intended for individual portion service and includes the site at which the individual portions are provided, whether consumption occurs on or off the premises. This includes restaurants and take-out facilities.
Are you opening a new restaurant? Set yourself up for success and review Food Service Establishment Review Packet.
A mobile food service is a self-contained food service operation located in a vehicle, movable stand or a pushcart that is used to store, prepare, display, or serve food intended for individual portion service.
Are you opening a new food truck? Make sure that you are familiar with all the Mobile Food Plan Review Packet.
A temporary food service is an operation where food is prepared and served to the public at a fixed location in conjunction with a single event or a celebration of not more than 14 consecutive days.
A temporary food permit is meant for events with lower-risk foods that require minimal preparation or storage. Ideally, all food for temporary events is purchased, prepared, and served the day of the event, and any leftovers are discarded. Your menu will be reviewed to ensure it can be prepared safely. View Temporary Food Service Permit Packet
Are you a volunteer planning a community event or selling food at a fundraiser? Review the New York State Temporary Food Service Guidance for Food Vendors & Event Organizers. Additional information is available online from the New York State Department of Health.
A catering operation i an operation that prepares and/or provides food for individual portion service at the location of the consumer.
Food Safety Training is REQUIRED in order to obtain most food permits. The Environmental Health Division offers free online training. Learn how you could become food safety trained today.
You need a permit if you are preparing, handling, or serving food for the public. Any advertisement of the food service to the public would mean a permit is required.
Examples of activities that require a food permit:
The following activities are exceptions and do not require a food permit:
Food service establishment, catering, and mobile permits are year-round permits that must be renewed annually. Temporary food service permits are only valid for a fixed location for a single event of not more than 14 consecutive days.
Most food service establishment permits are $215/year but increase with seating capacity over 100 or if the operation has a frozen dessert machine. Catering permits are $365/year. Mobile permits are $190/year. Temporary food permits are $90/event.
A permit is still required if you are preparing, handling, or serving food for the public. Your permit fees may be waived if documentation can be submitted.
No. Food must be prepared and stored in an approved or permitted kitchen or mobile unit with a commissary. This ensures the kitchen meets standards of the New York State Sanitary Code, Part 14. The only exception is if you have a Home Processing License from the Department of Agriculture and Markets, which essentially only covers dried baked goods.
A plan review needs to be conducted for any new kitchen in which an operator would like to prepare and store food for the public in addition to the permit application process. View Plan Review Packet
Food permits are required by the New York State Sanitary Code, Part 14. When you apply for a permit to serve food, education is provided on safe food preparation and handling to prevent illness.
You can apply for your permit online using Schenectady County's Citizen Portal
As soon as you know about your foodservice or an event, you should apply. Our office needs at least 2 weeks to process permits for an event and will need longer if a plan review is involved for a new facility or mobile unit.
It depends. If you have a food service establishment permit and you are setting up for an event on your property that is currently permitted/licensed, you do not need another permit. If you are setting up off premises, you will need to have another permit, which could be catering, mobile, or temporary food permits, depending on the equipment you have.
Yes. A valid permit with Schenectady County is required to be able to operate within Schenectady County.
Educate yourself! Take the Schenectady County Online Food Safety Training.
→ Take the Online Training
Here are the Basics of Food Safety from the New York State Department of Health:
Schenectady County code requires at least one person from each food service establishment possess an approved, valid food safety training certificate. A copy of the certificate must be submitted with an initial food service permit application and yearly with a renewal.