Food Program

The Oak Bluffs Health Department licenses and routinely inspect all food service establishments based upon their classification to ensure compliance with the requirements of the 1999 Federal Food and 105 CMR 590.000. New food service establishments must be inspected and approved prior to opening. There are over 100 food service establishments in the Town. In addition, there are usually over 20 temporary food events each year with over 40 permitted food vendors.

Inspections focus on food protection, food handling, food storage, sanitation and personal hygiene practices. The term "food service establishment" includes restaurants, grocery stores, bars, residential kitchens, commercial kitchens, taverns, schools, private clubs, food truck vendors, seasonal and temporary food operations. Food service establishments including temporary events must obtain a food permit from the Health Department in order to operate. Complaints concerning the condition or operation of a food service establishment should be directed to the Health Agent.

New Food Establishment & Renovations

Steps required to open a new food establishment or renovate an existing establishment:

  • Submit a completed Food Plan Review Application, along with supporting documents, to the Health Department
  • Contact the building, fire, sewer and police departments to ensure you meet their requirements
  • Once your application has been reviewed and approved, you will be notified in writing by the Health Department.
  • Construction may begin once approvals from all appropriate departments are received.
  • Submit a completed food permit application (new establishments only).
  • Schedule a pre-operational inspection with the Health Department prior to issuance of your food permit.