Connecticut Department of Public Health announces new streamlined permit/licensing process for food vendors
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Nov. 22, 2022
CONTACT: Chris Boyle, Director of Communications
(860) 706-9654 – firstname.lastname@example.org
HARTFORD, Conn— The Connecticut Department of Public Health is pleased to announce a cooperative, “first-in-Connecticut” policy of reciprocal permits and licenses for itinerant food vendors (food trucks). Permit reciprocity is intended to streamline a permit/licensing process that can be onerous to merchants and regulators alike: one where food trucks need to apply for and obtain licenses or permits from each local health agency in which they plan to prepare, offer, and/or serve food, even if only for a few hours or a day.
“This reciprocal agreement will allow food trucks licensed by one of the participating local health agencies to forgo the license/permit fee in other participating jurisdictions for their routine itinerant food vending,” said DPH Commissioner Manisha Juthani, MD. “DPH has partnered with local health directors and industry representatives to develop this streamlined process.”
Commissioner Juthani added that a statewide database has been developed and allows local health officials to access permit information and inspection records of itinerant food vendors from other participating local health agencies. DPH has set up a webpage for itinerant food vendors that includes information on the participating local health agencies and what food truck operators need to do prior to selling food in a town outside of the jurisdiction of the health department that originally permitted and inspected the truck’s food service operation.
“Local health agencies who choose to participate in the reciprocal licensing agreement will work with their boards or chief elected officials to sign onto a Memorandum of Understanding that defines their roles and responsibilities,” Commissioner Juthani said.
Currently, 14 local health jurisdictions in Connecticut have signed the MOU. Central to the agreement is the stipulation that reciprocal licensing allowing food trucks to prepare, offer or serve food in any of the participating jurisdictions applies to Health permits and licenses only, and the itinerant food vendor still needs all other local permits required by the town, such as parking, fire, and zoning. Local health agencies will retain the right to conduct inspections at their discretion.
Additionally, this agreement does not change any permitting or other approval requirements for temporary food service establishments, such as when a food truck is operating at a fixed location at an event such as a carnival, circus, public exhibition, festival, celebration, or similar transitory gathering.
“There is a FAQ page for merchants and local health officials to assist in applying this new process. We expect this project will grow and that more local health departments and districts will participate in the near future,” Commissioner Juthani said.