Temporary Food Establishment

All food vendors are required to have a temporary food establishment permit to offer food at events that are open to the public. An event is considered public if it is advertised.  A “temporary food establishment" means a food establishment:

  1. Operating at a fixed location, with a fixed menu, for not more than twenty-one consecutive days in conjunction with a single event or celebration, such as a fair or festival; or
  2. Operating not more than three days a week at a fixed location, with a fixed menu, in conjunction with an approved, recurring, organized event, such as a farmers market.

Private events where food is offered without compensation, such as church dinners or events for members and their guests only, are not required to obtain temporary food establishment permits. Nonprofit organizations operating for religious, charitable, or educational purposes may offer homemade baked goods (that do not require temperature control for safety) without a permit. These items must be prepared and wrapped in a sanitary manner. There must be a visible sign stating that the foods are prepared in a home kitchen that is not inspected by a regulatory authority.


  • Mobile Food Units that have not been inspected and approved for use by the Washington State Department of Labor & Industries will not be permitted by the Snohomish Health District. Please visit The L&I Food Trucks & Trailers page for more information. 
  • At least 1 person working in the temporary food establishment must have a valid food worker card posted, although we encourage all people working to have a valid cards.
  • food booth at fairCoordinator’s Checklist for a Temporary Food Event (PDF): This form is required for multiple day events or events with 4 or more food vendors. Temporary event coordinators must submit this form to the Snohomish Health District at least 30 days before to the event.
  • Requirements to Operate at Temporary Events (PDF)
  • Temporary Permit Categories (PDF)
  • Application for Temporary Food Establishment Permit (PDF): A fully completed application and permit fee must be turned in to the Snohomish Health District 14 days or more before the event to avoid a late fee charge. Postmarked dates will not be recognized. Late applications turned in 1-13 days before the event will require a late fee. Late applications will not be accepted without the late fee. If there are fewer than two days before the event, you cannot apply online and must apply in person at the Snohomish Health District.

We accept applications in person, by mail or you can create an account to submit temporary food service applications online.


Snohomish Health District
Attn: Temporary Food Permit Coordinator
3020 Rucker Avenue
Everett, WA 98201


Temporary food establishment permit fee will be determined by the types of food being served and the type of processes used to prepare the food. To determine which temporary food permit you need, use the checklist on the first page of the Application for Temporary Food Establishment Permit above.


Single event$80.00 event permit fee
Recurring event$160.00 event permit fee 
Recurring low risk, additional location, farmers markets only$80.00 seasonal temporary permit fee associated with a farmers market  


Single event$120.00 event permit fee
Recurring event$250.00 event permit fee 
Recurring medium risk, additional location, farmers markets only$125.00 seasonal temporary permit fee associated with a farmers market 


Required for menu items that involve handling open raw animal foods or cooling

Single event$215.00 event permit fee
Recurring event$580.00 event permit fee 
Recurring high risk, additional location, farmers markets only $290.00 seasonal temporary permit fee associated with a farmers market 


Processing fee (required)$47.00 processing

When serving foods that are specifically identified as exempt from permit under WAC 246-215-08305, you may submit an application for exemption from permit. No foods may be added or subtracted from the menu items listed on the application. 

Farmers markets


For your safety, all sellers of fresh, cooked and packaged food at Snohomish County farmers’ markets and stores must complete paperwork through the Snohomish Health District to identify whether they need a temporary food permit or other licensing.


The state’s Farmers Market Nutrition Program offers families in the Women, Infant and Children (WIC) nutrition program extra vouchers for fresh fruits, vegetables, and other food at local markets and farm stands. 

Markets that accept WIC vouchers also support low-income seniors through the Senior Farmers Market Nutrition Program. The Senior Farmers Market Nutrition Program in Snohomish County provides eligible seniors with fresh fruits and vegetables from local farmers markets.