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Community Event Organizer Permit

If your community event is two or more days in length and includes two or more food vendors who are selling or giving away food or beverages, including samples, you need a community event organizer permit.

Other Permits Needed

If your community event includes a certified farmers market, you are required to obtain a farmers market food permit.

It is the event organizer's responsibility to ensure that all food vendors have submitted a temporary food facility permit application 30 days prior to the event, or have a current permit on file with Environmental Health & Safety.

Who Needs a Community Event Organizer Permit?

The individual responsible for facilities or equipment shared by two or more food vendors at a community event is required to obtain a community event organizer permit.

A community event is "…an event of civic, political, public or educational nature, including state and county fairs, city festivals, circuses and other public gathering events approved by the local enforcement agency" (California Retail Food Code 113755).

Submit Your Complete Permit Application

30 days before your event, you must submit your permit application. Incomplete applications will not be accepted and will be returned

Download the entire application packet (PDF:256 KB)

Application Checklist

Your permit application must include: 

  • Community event organizer permit application.
  • List of proposed food facilities with each vendor's permit number (PR #).
  • Community Event Organizer Requirements form.
  • Copy of the Verification of Use permit for the event. This may be obtained from the facility's or venue's local building department jurisdiction.
  • Application fee 
Community Event OrganizerFeeHourly Rate
2 to 5 food facilities (+hourly rate after 1 hour) $171 $171
6 or more food facilities (+hourly rate after 2 hours) $342 $171

Don't Be Late!

You must submit your community event organizer permit application 30 days prior to the event. Late applications will be assessed a 25% late fee if submitted less than 14 calendar days prior to the event.

Applications submitted less than 2 days prior may not allow sufficient processing time to obtain a permit.

A penalty fee of up to three times the permit fee is assessed for operating without a permit at an event.

Responsibilities of a Community Event Organizer

Providing Restroom Facilities for the Event

  • Check with local codes for the number of restrooms required for public use.
  • Must provide enough toilets for employees of food vendor, event organizer, and the public attending the event. At least one toilet facility for each 15 employees shall be provided within 200 feet of each food facility.
  • Each toilet facility shall be provided with hand washing facilities equipped with warm and cold running water, hand washing cleanser and single-use sanitary towels in permanently installed dispensers.

Providing Garbage and Liquid Waste Facilities for the Event

  • Adequate garbage and refuse containers must be provided. Garbage and refuse shall be stored in leak proof and fly proof containers and serviced as needed. Plastic garbage bags are recommended in each food facility.
  • All liquid waste generated by the food facility operators and the operation of the event shall be disposed of into an approved sewage system or holding tank, and shall not be discharged onto the ground or into a storm drain.

Animal Control

  • Live animals are not permitted within twenty feet of temporary food facilities. Service Animals exempt.
  • Signs shall be posted at all entrances to the event or food areas informing the public of this requirement.
  • Event support staff shall enforce this requirement.

Providing Adequate Lighting for the Event

  • If the event will occur at night or where minimal light is available, adequate shatter-resistant lighting shall be provided.

Ensuring Compliance of Temporary Food Facilities

  • It is the event organizer's responsibility to ensure that all food vendors have submitted a temporary food facility permit application 30 days prior to the event, or have a current permit on file with Environmental Health & Safety.
  • Vendors that do not have an existing permit or have not obtained a new permit may not operate at the event.
  • The event organizer shall ensure that the food facilities operating at the event are in compliance with the California Retail Food Code (CALCODE) throughout the entire event. Please read the Temporary Food Facility Operational Requirements Temporary Food Facility Definitions and Operational Requirements for a complete description of these requirements.
  • Each food facility operator shall have posted inside the food booth the completed Temporary Food Facility Self-Inspection Checklist (PDF: 180 KB). It is recommended that prior to the arrival of the inspector, the event organizer confirm that the checklist is completed and posted at each food booth, and that the food facility's original food permit is posted.
  • Ice supplied by the event organizer shall be from an approved source (e.g., an ice distribution company or a permitted food establishment).
  • Please use these guidelines to help the food vendors at your event achieve compliance:

Certified Farmers Markets

If your community event includes a certified farmers market, you are required to obtain a farmers market food permit.

Contact Information

Public Health Division
County of Sonoma
Business Hours
Monday – Friday
7:30 AM – 4:30 PM
Address
Office Location
625 5th Street
Santa Rosa, CA 95404
38.44178, -122.7158781

Report a Complaint, Hazard or Nuisance

The California Retail Food Code

Download CalCode [PDF]
CalCode establishes uniform statewide health and sanitation standards for retail food facilities.

Marine Biotoxin Monitoring Reports

Marine Biotoxin Monitoring Reports

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The California Dept. of Public Health monitors the water along the California coast to provide information on the safety of eating shellfish.

 

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