Temporary Food Facility Permit for Community Events

Don't Be Late!

You must submit your temporary food facility permit application 30 days prior to the event.

Late applications will be assessed a late fee of 25% of the annual permit 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.

Who Needs a Temporary Food Facility Permit?

You need a temporary food facility permit if you are a food vendor who is selling or giving away food or beverages, including samples, at a community event that is two or more consecutive days in length.

Wineries or breweries may not need a temporary food facility permit: 

Guidance to Community Events for Wineries and Breweries

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).

A permit is required for each point of sale location operating at the same time. For example, a kettle corn vendor who sets up a booth at two farmers markets held at the same time, on the same day, would require two permits.

These are the steps to take to obtain your temporary food facility permit.

Veteran's Exemption

A non-fee permit may be granted to food facility operators claiming veterans’ exemptions. Operators must complete the veteran's exemption application and present proof of veteran status.

Step 1: Determine Your Permit Type

It is important to determine your temporary food facility type and understand the operational requirements before submitting your site plan designs.

The permit types are defined by the level of food preparation performed at your temporary food facility: moderate, minimal or minimal - prepackaged/non-potentially hazardous.

Step 2: Submit Your Permit Application

You must submit your permit application 30 days before your event.

Incomplete applications will not be accepted and will be returned.

Application Checklist

Your permit application should include: 

  • Pages 2-5 of the community event food permit application
  • Page 6, if you will be using a commissary
  • Application fee, as determined by the permit type identified in step 1 above.  
    Permit typeFee
    Annual permit
    Extensive Food Preparation $616
    Moderate Food Preparation $331
    Minimal Food Preparation $254
    Prepackaged/No Food Preparation $121
    Five consecutive days or fewer
    Extensive Food Preparation $387
    Moderate Food Preparation $245
    Minimal Food Preparation $183
    Prepackaged/No Food Preparation $91
    Veteran's exempt food facility No Fee

If preparing food off-site:

If hiring a caterer from out of county:

  • A commissary agreement signed by the commissary operator and the Environmental Health jurisdiction for the county in which the commissary is located.

If selling or giving away prepackaged food you may need to submit a processed food registration and/or a cannery license from the California Department of Public Health. Contact information for these state programs is available here:

Step 3: Day of the Event Requirements

On the day of the event, you will need to:

  • Post your original temporary food facility permit (copies are not valid) on the food facility at a location visible to the public.
  • Conduct a self-inspection of the food facility, using the self-inspection checklist, to ensure your food facility is in compliance.
  • Post the self-inspection checklist on the food facility at a location visible to the public.

Important: you must post original documents; copies are not valid.

Contact Information

Public Health Division
County of Sonoma
Business Hours
Monday – Friday
8:00 AM – 4:00 PM
Office Location
625 5th Street
Santa Rosa, CA 95404
38.44178, -122.7158781

Certified Commercial Kitchens

Certified Commercial Kitchens


If your temporary food facility prepares or stores food off-site, you must do so at a permitted establishment.

The California Retail Food Code

CalCode establishes uniform statewide health and sanitation standards for retail food facilities.