Division of Hotels and Restaurants
Guide to Temporary Food Service Events
For Florida’s Public Food Service Establishments
This webpage contains the same information as DBPR Form HR 5030-034, Guide to Temporary Food Service Events, a PDF document available in English and Spanish.
A temporary food service event is an event of 30 days or less in duration where food is prepared, served, or sold to the general public and is advertised and recognized in the community. A temporary food service establishment or vendor is a participant at a temporary food service event.
We developed this guideline for temporary events from Chapters 61C-1 and 61C-4, Florida Administrative Code, and Chapter 509, Florida Statutes.
A public food service establishment or other food vendor must obtain a license from the division for each temporary food service event in which it participates (unless exempted). Annual temporary event licenses are also available which allow participation in an unlimited number of temporary events. The division will inspect temporary events and if minimum sanitation standards are not met, the food service operation will be discontinued until corrections are completed and verified by the division.
Sponsors of a temporary food service event must notify the division of the following items no less than three business days prior to the scheduled event.
1) Type of food service proposed,
2) Time and location of the event,
3) Complete list of food service vendor owners and operators participating, and
4) Current license number of each public food service establishment participating.
Notification: Event sponsors may complete notification requirements by telephone at 850.487.1395, in person at the appropriate district office, via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or in writing. A public food service establishment or food service vendor may not use this notification process to circumvent the license requirement.
The division keeps record of all notifications received for proposed temporary food service events and provides appropriate educational materials to the event sponsor.
Group License: The division may issue a group license to a vendor with multiple units serving a single non-potentially hazardous food (e.g., churros). All grouped units must serve the same food. Foods requiring additional preparation or handling are not eligible for group licensing. All qualifying units must be inspected in a single location.
Public food service establishments holding current licenses from the division may operate at temporary events with no additional license fee.
Temporary events such as carnivals, fairs, or other celebrations operated on church or school property or any eating place operated by a nonprofit civic, fraternal or religious organization are exempt from licensing and inspection by the Division of Hotels and Restaurants.
Temporary events lasting 1 to 3 days, including food contests and cook-offs, which are hosted by a church or a religious, nonprofit fraternal, or nonprofit civic organization are exempt. Upon request by the division, the event host must provide the division documentation of its status as a church or a religious, nonprofit fraternal or nonprofit civic organization.
Temporary public food service establishments and vendors are required to pay the following license fees at the time of licensing:
- 1-3 day event – $91
- 4-30 day event – $105
- Annual – $456
The division does not accept cash payments for fees at temporary events. The division accepts cashier's checks, money orders or other certified payments.
Fire Safety Code requires a portable fire extinguisher. Check with the local fire authority for specific requirements pertaining to the size, type or tagging of required fire extinguishers or other fire related requirements.
Employees may not touch ready-to-eat (RTE) food with their bare hands unless there is a written Alternative Operating Procedure (AOP) available that has been approved by the division. Without an approved AOP, employees must use suitable utensils such as deli tissue, spatulas, tongs, single-use gloves, or dispensing equipment when handling RTE food.
Food service workers transmit most foodborne disease causing germs to foods. That is why it is so important for employees to maintain high standards of personal cleanliness. All personnel must wash hands prior to beginning work, when returning to work after any break in food preparation activities, when putting on or changing gloves, or any time their hands become soiled.
Smoking is prohibited in warewashing, food preparation and food storage areas.
Personnel must wear clean outer garments, effective hair restraints and no jewelry on their hands or arms (except plain wedding bands). If worn, artificial and painted fingernails must be covered by intact gloves.
All personnel must be free of open sores and skin infections, respiratory infections, upset stomach, diarrhea or other communicable diseases.
The specific requirements for the temporary event physical facility where food is prepared or handled are based on the length of the event, the type of food that is prepared or served, and the extent of food preparation conducted at the temporary facility. Minimum requirements may include:
1) Food service operators must provide overhead protection if food is prepared or portioned or warewashing is done onsite.
2) Flooring may be concrete, machine-laid asphalt or dirt/gravel if it is covered with mats, removable platforms, duckboards, or other suitable approved materials that effectively control dust and mud and are graded to drain.
3) Walls and ceilings must be constructed of a material that protects the interior from the weather, windblown dust and debris, or other forms of cross contamination.
4) When potentially hazardous food is prepared at events of 4-30 days in length, the physical structure where the food preparation occurs must be protected against flying insects and other vermin by:
a) 16 mesh to 1 inch screens;
b) Properly designed and installed air curtains; or
c) Other effective means.
5) A three-compartment sink is required within the temporary food service for washing, rinsing and sanitizing utensils and equipment. If this activity is conducted at an approved, remotely located commissary or food service establishment, an adequate supply of spare preparation and serving utensils must be maintained on the premises in case the original utensils become soiled.
6) A handwashing facility is required. This facility may be a clean, portable container equipped with an on/off valve. Soap and single-service paper towels must be available for handwashing and hand drying.
All food service operations that prepare or portion food on the premises must provide an adequate supply of potable water for purposes of cleaning and employee handwashing. Municipal connections, holding tanks or portable containers are accepted means to provide an adequate supply.
Steam used in contact with food or food-contact surfaces must be free from contamination.
Solid and Liquid Waste
Operators must remove all garbage and rubbish from the premises often enough to prevent nuisance conditions and dispose solid waste properly in tight-fitting, covered containers.
Operators must dispose liquid waste in a public or other approved sewerage system.
- Sanitizer (properly diluted, unscented bleach may be used)
- Probe thermometer
- Chemical test strips (for measuring sanitizer concentration)
- Three-compartment sink to wash, rinse and sanitize equipment and utensils or access to such facilities at an approved commissary or food service establishment
- Hair restraints
- Adequate supply of back-up utensils
- Adequate supply of potable water
- Soap and single-service towels
- Adequate equipment and facilities to maintain food at the proper temperatures
- Adequate protection from flying insects, vermin, dust, dirt and weather
- Adequate protection for displayed, prepared, and stored food
- If required by local fire authority, properly tagged and sized portable fire extinguisher
To Prevent Foodborne Illness
- Obtain foods from an approved source. Home prepared food is not allowed.
- Wash hands thoroughly before handling food, single-service items and clean equipment and utensils.
- Maintain hot foods at temperatures of 135° Fahrenheit or above.
- Maintain cold foods at temperatures of 41° Fahrenheit or below.
- Cook pork to a minimum temperature of 145° Fahrenheit for at least 15 seconds.
- Cook beef to a minimum temperature of 155° Fahrenheit for at least 15 seconds.
- Cook chicken and other poultry to a minimum temperature of 165° Fahrenheit for at least 15 seconds.
- Reheat cooked foods to a minimum temperature of 165° Fahrenheit within two hours for hot holding.
- Check food temperatures frequently with a probe type thermometer.
- Heat foods quickly and cool foods rapidly.
- Keep raw and cooked foods separated.
- Thaw foods properly: completely submerged under cold running water not longer than four hours, as part of the cooking process, or under refrigeration.
- Use single-service articles whenever possible.
- Keep foods covered and protected from dust, dirt, insects, vermin and human cross contamination.
- Protect all food, including displayed food, from customer contamination (touching, coughing, sneezing, etc.).
- Minimize handling of foods before, during and after preparation.
- Do not store food directly in contact with ice used for beverages.
- Do not use swollen, leaking or damaged canned goods.
- Store all food products and equipment at least six inches off the ground.