Guide to Food Permitting

Health Permit from ISD

Reviewing your plan before you build your truck

The City encourages vendors to review their construction and operation plans with a Health Inspector before building their trucks. To schedule a plan review, call Tom McAdams at 617-961-3293.

Bring the following to the review:

  1. Equipment plans and specifications (including Plan Review Form)

  2. Completed Health Permit Application (contains relevant information about the type of cooking you will do)

  3. Sample Menu (this influences the layout of the kitchen)

Cost: $100 (you only pay the $100 once – during the review or when your truck is inspected.)


Getting a Health Permit after you've built your truck

Call Tom McAdams at 617-961-3293 to make an inspection appointment. Food truck inspections are available from 8:00 to 9:30 am Monday to Friday at 1010 Massachusetts Avenue. If your truck passes the inspection, you will receive a Health Permit and the signature of the Health Inspector on your FTP Application.

Make sure to bring the following to the inspection:

  1. Sample Menu

  2. Proof of Commissary Kitchen (e.g. lease agreement)

  3. Proof that at least one person working on your truck is a Certified Food Protection Manager

  4. Use of Premise Permit (Only required if vending on a private site)

  5. Completed Health Permit Application

  6. In-Progress Food Truck Permit Application

Your food truck must meet the health standards set out in 105 CMR 590.000 (esp. pages 3583-84) and the 1999 Federal Food Code, which is enforced in Massachusetts.

Cost: $100 for a one-year health permit (no charge if you already paid during a plan review)

You must renew your health permit every year or whenever you modify your truck.


  • Commissary Kitchen

    A commissary kitchen is a licensed commercial kitchen facility. Possible locations include:

    1. community kitchen
    2. church kitchen
    3. restaurant (during off hours)
    4. catering business

  • Modifying Your Truck

    If you plan to modify your truck, get in touch with ISD. Contact Tom McAdams at 617-961-3293 to determine if a plan review is necessary. Bring the following to the review:

    1. Equipment plans and specifications (including form)
    2. Sample Menu

    Mobile Food Establishment Plan Review Form

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