Food Services

Serving Food to the Public

The Bethel Health Department works with many businesses and local residents who serve food to the public. Two types of Food Service activities are:

1.  Food Service Establishments (food stores, restaurants, etc.).  

2. Temporary/Seasonal Food Events (such as food trucks, non-profit, social and religious organization food booths, etc.) 


Food Services Establishments  

It is time to renew your Food Service Establishment (FSE) License for the coming fiscal year 2024-25 effective July 1!  According to state statute you must have a valid license issued by the director of health to operate or maintain a food service establishment. Completion of the application process and payment of the license fee are required to obtain your license.  The license fee is determined by the FSE classification.

Certified Food Protection Manager (CFPM) Certificates for 2 or more employees currently providing CFPM services must be on file at the health department. Submission of application with all completed checklist items will facilitate receipt of your new license. 

Please contact Bethel Health Department if you will be changing equipment or menu items. We must review and approve any changes to assure that they meet the Public Health Code and the FDA Food Code. If you have any Food questions, please email us at and we will help clarify any issue.

Please note that a license may be revoked if taxes, water, or sewer charges are delinquent for a year or more. See CT statute Sec. 12-146a

A fillable Food Service License Renewal Application is available for your convenience.  Once the form is completed, please print, sign, date and drop off the application with payment in cash or check made payable to Town of Bethel by May 15, 2024.  You can also print, sign, date, scan the application and send via email to and make payment in cash or check made payable to Town of Bethel in person (or via mail to Clifford J. Hurgin Municipal Center, 1 School St., Bethel, CT 06801 ). A $75.00 late fee will be charged if the completed application is not received by May 15, 2024.

Note:  If payment is made via mail, application will not be processed until payment is received.


Temporary/Seasonal Food Service Events

The FDA Model Food Code defines a temporary food service operation as a food service establishment that operates at a fixed location for a temporary period of time, not to exceed two weeks in connection with a carnival, circus, public exhibition, festival, celebration or similar transitory gathering.  All proposed temporary food service operations must obtain a food service license from the Bethel Health Department.  Such licensure is also required for vendors who participate in these temporary gatherings.

Temporary food service operators and vendors serving food and drink (for free or for a fee) must comply with the requirements of the FDA Model Food Code which are applicable to its operation.

In order to process the application for a temporary food service license and to evaluate the proposed operation and menu, each establishment and/or vendor must complete a Temporary Food Service Application and provide all required information with payment in cash or check made payable to Town of Bethel not less than ten (10) business days prior to the date of the event.  Failure to apply within this timeframe will result in withholding the issuance of a license.  Applications and license fees will not be accepted on the day of the inspection.

Food service operators and vendors who do not have a temporary food service license will not be permitted to operate at the event. 

See Food Service Applications, Guidance and Pay Sheet for Services Below:

Fillable Food Service Plan Review  

Fillable Food Service License Renewal Application 

BHD Checklist for Food Service License Renewal Application

Fillable Temp/Seasonal Food Service License Application 

Pay Sheet for Services 


Local Cottage Food Industry Business

Bethel Health Dept. does not regulate Local Cottage Food Industry businesses for food protection purposes. The CT. Department of Consumer Protection has licensing and inspection authority over local Cottage Food Business operators. Contact the Connecticut Department of Consumer Protection (DCP), through the following link:  Cottage Food Operator  to open and operate a local Cottage Food Business.


Bethel Planning and Zoning

Please also contact the Bethel Planning and Zoning office (203)794-8578 to determine if there are any zoning regulations that would apply.


FDA Model Food Code 2022

On June 17, 2017, the Connecticut General Assembly passed regulations that established the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Model Food Code as Connecticut’s Food Code. The new law began phasing in the FDA Food Code on July 1, 2017, and went into full effect on February 16, 2023, repealing the Connecticut Public Health Code (Sections 19-13-B40, B42, B48, and B49).  

We encourage you to review the 2022 FDA Food Code which can be found at the FDA website:

Please see the following resources provided for your assistance:

2022 FDA Food Code

2022 Food Code FAQ

FDA Food Facts – Safe Food Handling - What You Need to Know

Food Temperature Danger Zone

Revised Classification of Food Establishments