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Temporary Food Vendors
All vendors involved in a temporary food event must submit an Application for a Temporary Food Vendor License AT LEAST 3 WEEKS prior to the event.  This allows the inspector to pre-screen the application for potential issues and work with you toward ensuring proper food safety.   The goal of everyone involved is a successful temporary food event that allows you to sell your food products in a manner that provides food to your customers that is safe to eat.  The following are several details that the inspector will be looking for on the day of the event, please review so that you can ensure that you are prepared for the event and can easily pass the inspection.

Requirements for Temporary Food Event


 All food must be from an approved source

  • An approved source is a food facility that is licensed by either the local health authority or by the FDA or USDA as a wholesale food supplier.  A copy of the license or inspection placard from the facility may be requested.  Receipts are required.

All food preparation must be performed at a licensed facility (cannot be performed in a private home)

  • If any preparation is to be performed prior to the event (i.e. cutting of meat or vegetables, marinating, cooking of a pot of chili or soup, etc.) it must be performed at a licensed kitchen.   A copy of the license or inspection placard from the facility may be requested.
  • Any preparation performed entirely at the temporary event will be covered by the Temporary Food License (i.e. – hamburgers or hot dogs bought preformed and frozen that are cooked and served on site at the event)

Method for proper holding of the foods prior to arrival to the event and at the event must be identified

  • How will the food be either cold held to hot held after purchase or preparation until you get to the event
  • How will the food be either cold held or hot held  while driving to the event
  • How will you provide cold holding and hot holding while at the event serving the food

At the Event

Personal Hygiene

Handwashing facilities must be provided for food handlers

  • Running water with soap and disposable towels is preferred
  • A tank or cooler of warm water can be utilized with soap and disposable towels will be accepted , if the reservoir is large enough and there is a potential to refill the water
  • If access to water is unavailable, hand sanitizers must be provided

Bare hand contact with Ready-To-Eat Foods must be eliminated

  • Ready-To-Eat food is any food that will no longer be cooked prior to being served to the public (or any component that will no longer be cooked) 
  • (i.e. if preparing a hamburger, the hamburger is ready-to-eat once it is cooked and removed from the cooking surface, the roll, and any fixings on the hamburger such as lettuce, tomato, or condiments are ready-to eat the entire time, and the finished hamburger once assembled is ready-to-eat)

Disposable gloves may be used to prevent bare hand contact

  • Gloves must be changed between activities (i.e. handling raw meat, handling money, cleaning, handling ready-to-eat foods, etc.)

Utensils, waxed paper, deli paper etc. may be used in specific situations to serving ready to eat foods, but are often insufficient to allow manipulation of foods for further preparation (i.e assembly of a sandwich or burger)

Cross contamination
  • Ensure that the same surfaces are not used for raw meats and for ready-to-eat foods
  • Do not place Ready-To-Eat foods below raw foods in Storage

Cooking Temperature

Raw meats must be cooked to following internal temperatures:

130° F for 112 minutes for roasts
145° F for whole piece beef, fish, pork
155° F for ground meat, injected meat, pooled raw eggs
F for poultry, stuffed meat/fish/poultry, stuffing, raw animal products prepared in microwave
- Cooking Thermometers should be available
- Food may NOT be heated or reheated in a steam table
- Must be cooked on a cooking surface, the steam table is ONLY for hot holding