Public health officials advise consumers searching for catering services to make sure the caterer they choose has all the essentials, most importantly a food service permit.
Tips on choosing a legal caterer
- Make sure the vendor has a food service permit from the Mississippi State Department of Health
- Make sure the vendor can show you a tax identification number
- Legal caterers have at least one person who has attended and passed an approved food safety manager certification course.
- Choosing the wrong caterer can lead to a food-borne illness outbreak. The Health Department works with the food service industry to help ensure that the cooking, holding, and cooling temperatures are adequate to prevent food from becoming contaminated in food service facilities. Food workers should use scientifically proven, healthy food-handling practices, keep raw and cooked foods from becoming cross-contaminated, and ensure that food employees know these and other factors that prevent food-borne illness.
- Customers can make the difference by reporting an unlicensed catering businesses to the Mississippi State Department of Health.