Temporary Food Booths
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In Snohomish County, if you operate a temporary food booth that is open to the public, you must obtain a permit. Examples of events that require temporary food booth permits include:
- Carnivals or circuses
- Fairs and festivals
- Sporting events
Do You Need a Temporary Food Permit
All food booth vendors are required to have a permit to operate at events that are open to the public. An event is considered public if you advertise it, including with fliers, banners, newspaper articles, and online.
The Snohomish Health District requires at least 1 person working in your booth to have a valid food worker card posted, but we encourage all people working the booth to have valid cards.
Vendors at unadvertised events, such as church dinners or events for members and their guests only, are not required to have temporary food booth permits. Nonprofit organizations operating for religious, charitable, or educational purposes may hold bake sales with homemade goods (that do not require temperature control) without a permit. These items must be prepared and individually 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.
Applications must be fully completed and submitted and the fee paid 14 calendar days before the event. If it is less than 14 days before an event, you will need to pay a 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.
Your temporary permit fee depends on the type of food you will be serving. Booths that serve potentially hazardous foods are considered high risk and have higher fees. Potentially hazardous foods include:
- Animal products: Meat, poultry, eggs, seafood, dairy products
- Cooked starches: Beans, pasta, potatoes, rice
- All cooked vegetables
- Fresh cut melons, leafy greens, tomatoes
Requirements & Information for Temporary Food Booths
- Coordinator’s Checklist for a Temporary Food Event (PDF): required only for temporary event coordinators; please submit to the Environmental Health Division office at least 30 days before to the event.
- Low Risk Menu Items (PDF): Snohomish Health District approved menu items only.
- Guidelines for Setting up and Operating a Temporary Food Establishment (PDF)
- Temporary Permit Categories (PDF)
- Operating Requirements for Farmers Markets (PDF) - updated April 27, 2020
Applications for Temporary Food Booth Permits
- Application for Exemption from Permit (PDF): Only menu items listed in the application are eligible for exemption.
- Application for Temporary Food Establishment Permit (PDF) : Application must be fully completed and submitted with fee 14 days before the event.
- Online Application for Temporary Food Service Permit: Create an account to submit temporary food service applications online.