Food Handler’s Permit

Mesa Komal requires everyone to get their Food Handler’s Permit.
There are two options for this:

Metro Health Department (contact Metro Health Department for class schedules)

2500 Charlotte Ave, Nashville , TN 37209

Class seats are limited and fill up rapidly, so call well in advance to schedule.

Attend class, take a test, and receive your permit in the mail.

Contact Metro Health Department for location and class times. 615-340-5620

ServSafe Online Course and Assessment ($15 online)


Which agency regulates my product?  

If you are  a catering company serving and selling food at events or fairs that is not packaged…

You will need a “Catering Commissary Agreement” from the Health Department.

This is required by the Metro Public Health Department for all catering companies.  Catering companies are typically defined as those that serve food on-site.  Once food is sold in a container or any type of packaging, it falls under the Department of Agriculture.

This document must be signed by the business and signed by Conexión Américas.  It must then be notarized and copied.  The business and Conexión Américas keeps a copy of the document on file and the original is mailed to the Metro Health Department.


If you are selling non-meat food that is packaged and sold online, at markets/stores or wholesale…

You will need a “Manufacturing Within” from the Department of Agriculture.

This is required by the Department of Agriculture for anyone and everyone selling a packaged product.  It does not matter if you are selling it straight to the consumer at a Farmer’s Market or if you are selling it wholesale to a store.  They also do not monitor sales volume or distribution channels; they only monitor the process by which you make your product.

The document must be filled out, signed, and submitted to the Department of Agriculture.  You must include a copy of your business license, copy of the Mesa Komal contract, and a copy of your labels. There is an annual fee of $50 for this permit.

Product labels must contain:

  • Name and address of the manufacturer
  • An accurate statement of the quantity of contents in terms of weight, measure or count.
  • The common or usual name of the food
  • The ingredients in all packaged foods must be listed by their common names in descending order
  • Nutrition labeling is only required IF sales exceed $500,000 annually

Labeling and Nutrition Exemption guideline:

The nutrition labeling exemptions for low-volume products found in 21 CFR 101.9(j)(18) and 21 CFR 101.36(h)(2) apply if the person claiming the exemption employs fewer than an average of 100 full-time equivalent employees and fewer than 100,000 units of that product are sold in the United States in a 12-month period. For these exemptions, a notice must be filed annually with FDA. **More Information**

After receiving your paperwork, they will schedule an inspector to come observe you making your product and will grade you on your safety and sanitary-related procedures.

If you are selling anything with meat as an ingredient…

  • Meat in packaged sandwiches:  Meat between two pieces of bread is allowed with a permit from the Department of Agriculture.
  • Meat in packaged wraps, empanadas, tamales, etc: This requires a permit from the USDA and our facility is NOT licensed by the FDA.  You may NOT make these on site for sale.
  • Unpackaged items with meat served at an event: These items are allowed with a permit from the Health Department.  They can be made and served at events and cannot be packaged.

Yes, it is complicated so don’t hesitate to ask!


Can I cook at my house?

The State of Tennessee has implemented new regulations for domestic kitchens. To learn more of what can and cannot be produce in a residential kitchen – see link below

More Questions?

Tennessee Department of Agriculture for Food Manufacturing

Metro Health Department

Contact: 615-340-5620