Food Service & Alcohol Licensing
Protecting Our Food Supply
The Gloucester Health Department is charged with the responsibility of protecting the public from food-borne illness. This is accomplished through licensure and inspection of retail food stores and food service establishments, enforcement of codes, education of food handlers and investigation of food-borne illness outbreaks.
The Massachusetts Department of Public Health's
Sanitary Code 105 CMR 590
is the primary tool used to protect the food supply of the people of Gloucester. Licenses are issued for the following:
If you are considering serving food to the public, or making and providing food to a retail business, please contact the Health Department’s
at 978-325-5264 to obtain a Food Service Permit. Every food service establishment with the capabilities for cooking, preparing, and serving food is required to have a Common Victualler License along with a Food Service Permit. A Food Service Permit is necessary to obtain a Common Victualler License.
Common Victualler and Liquor License Inspections
All establishments that serve alcohol in Gloucester need an annual inspection to demonstrate to the Liquor Licensing Board that the facility is operating in a sanitary manner. If an establishment serves only alcohol beverages, a food service permit from the Board of Health is still required. Not only are alcoholic beverages defined as food but the usual accompaniments of ice, lemons, mixers, limes and cherries fall within the definition of food. As such, any establishment serving alcoholic beverages is required to obtain a Food Service Permit and any establishment serving food is required to obtain a Common Victualler License. The Health Department works with the Building Inspector and City Clerk offices for inspections. Please contact the City of Gloucester's Licensing Board at (978) 325-5281 or
for more information.