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:
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.
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.
- Download veteran's exemption application (PDF: 112 Kb)
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.
- Download the application packet (PDF: 900 Kb)
Incomplete applications will not be accepted and will be returned.
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. See fee schedule for current fees.
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.
- Download the self-inspection checklist (PDF: 180 Kb)
- 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.