Temporary Food Service Requirements – WOCHD
Wednesday, June 22, 2022
Any temporary food service offered to the public, whether offered for a price or free of charge, requires a permit from the health department. Most notably, this includes food booths at fairs, festivals, celebrations, exhibitions, carnivals, and other community gatherings. (Note that large events may also require a mass gathering permit from the health department.) Food-service vehicles (Food Trucks), including rental beverage trailers, must meet health standards for temporary event operations and require a health department permit.
Most events are considered public. If any advertising or inducement exists for a community member to attend, regardless of cost (or lack of) to an individual, an event is considered “public.” Even if an event is open to only a portion of the public, the health department may still require a permit; contact the county health department if you are unsure.
Every food vendor at an event must obtain their own temporary food permit. This includes existing restaurants, caterers, churches, community or school organizations, and volunteer or social groups. An existing establishment’s permanent-facility permit is not transferable to a temporary location, even if the event is on their own premises (but outside their regular kitchen).
Temporary event food booths are subject to inspection by the health department. All violations must be corrected on-site, and unsafe food practices or booths operating without a permit may result in food removal or booth closure. Permits are valid for up to 14 days at one location as long as the operator remains in good standing and compliance with regulations.