Food Establishment Permits
Types of Food Permits
- Annual Food Establishment Permit: All year-round food establishments must have an Annual Food Establishment Permit.
- Food Exemption Application: Used when exempt foods are being served at temporary events.
- Mobile Food Permit Application
- Mobile Food Unit Reciprocity Application
- Temporary Food Establishment Permit: Individuals serving food to the public at temporary events must have a Temporary Food Establishment Permit. Expedited permit fees apply to all temporary permits submitted less than two weeks before event date
- Solicitud de Permiso de Establecimiento de Alimentos
- Solicitud de Permiso Para Establecimiento Móvil
When Do I need a Food Permit
If you are storing, preparing, packaging, serving, vending or otherwise providing food for human consumption then you may need a food permit:
- If it is a private event, then you do not need a permit.
- If it is a public event, then you may need a permit, however there are some exemptions.
Food Exempt from a Food Permit
The following are exempt from a food permit:
- Pre-packaged, non-potentially hazardous foods (i.e. packaged cookies, chips, crackers, bread, etc.) from an approved source
- Non-potentially hazardous, nonready-to-eat, minimally cut, unprocessed fruit and vegetables from an approved source
- Non-potentially hazardous, ready-to-eat food, from an approved source, served into smaller portions without direct hand contact (i.e. premixed soda, powered creamer, pretzels, cookies, doughnuts, cake or jerky, etc.)
- Non-potentially hazardous hot drinks served in single service cups (i.e. hot chocolate, coffee, hot tea, etc.)
- Dry, non-potentially hazardous, nonready-to-eat foods (i.e. dry beans, grains, in-shell nuts, coffee beans, tea leaves, etc.)
- Prepackaged frozen confections form an approved source
The following items are also exempt from a temporary food permit: Note: If you are serving and preparing these items at your event, please complete a Food Exemption Application.
- Cotton candy
- Dried herbs and spices (processed in an approved facility)
- Machine crushed ice (if made with non-potentially hazardous ingredients and ice from approved source. Does not include snow cones/shaved ice/Hawaiian Ice.)
- Corn on the cob
- Whole roasted peppers (if roasted for immediate service)
- Roasted nuts (including candy-coated)
- Chocolate-dipped ice cream bars (if made with commercially packaged ice cream bars)
- Chocolate-dipped bananas (if made with bananas peeled and frozen in an approved facility)
- Sliced fruits and vegetables for sampling (if used for individual samples of non-potentially hazardous produce)
A bake sale is defined as a "nonprofit organization operating for religious, charitable, or educational purposes and selling baked goods that do not need temperature control (non-potentially hazardous foods)." The items must be prepared and individually wrapped in a sanitary manner. A clearly visible sign at the point of sale must read, "These foods were prepared at a kitchen that is not inspected by the Health Department." Some examples of foods allowed at bake sales are: cookies, brownies, muffins, doughnuts, fudge, fruit pies, cake, bread, scones, or candy. Some examples of foods not allowed at bake sales are: cream filled desserts, lemon meringue pie, home canned foods, whipped cream, cream cheese, pumpkin pie, cheesecakes, and custard desserts.
A potluck is defined as an event where: (a) people are gathered to share food; (b) people attending are expected to bring food to share; (c) there is no compensation provided to people for bringing food to the event; (d) there is no charge for any food or beverage provided at the event; and (e) the event is not conducted for commercial purposes."
Churches/Religious/Donated Food Distribution Organizations:
1. Provides food to their congregation: You do not need a food permit. We consider a congregation a private group. 2. Provides food to homeless individuals: You do not need a food permit, because you are considered a Donated Food Distributing Organization. Note: However, we would like to know that this is occurring. Please contact the Food Program (contact information below) about distributing donated food.
If you are unsure if you need a food permit, contact the Food Program at (360)427-9670 ext. 361.