What is a special event?

An advertised public event where food is sold or given away to the public. Public events include county fairs, traveling fairs, holiday fairs, city festivals, entertainment events, cook-offs, fundraising events or any other event that is open to the public.

What role does MCHD play at special events?

  • Inspection of food vendors.
  • Issuance of a temporary permit, food handling and sanitation surveys.
  • Promote public health in areas of food safety and sanitation.
  • Prevent occurrence of foodborne illnesses.

What is the purpose of a temporary permit?

  • A temporary permit is issued on-site after conducting an inspection of the facility.
  • The inspection is intended to check areas of concern as it pertains to food safety.
  • A temporary permit tells the public that the facility meets the minimum requirements for a temporary food establishment.

What does MCHD look for when inspecting vendors?

  • Approved food source.
  • Food storage, handling and preparation.
  • Proper handwashing and warewashing facilities.
  • Proper establishment construction.
  • Food handler hygienic practices.
  • Utensil and equipment storage and sanitation.
  • Water source and disposal.
  • Approved Food Handler Cards.

Are there special event vendor registrations and fees?

  • Vendors must contact the Food and Lodging Department at least five business days prior to the special event for requirements and registrations.
  • A vendor can access special event requirements at Environmental Services.
  • Special event fees per temporary establishment as of May 1, 2013:
    (a) 0-3 days, $175,
    (b) 4-14 days, $200,
    (c) Over 14 days, $400.
  • Fees must be deliverable to the MCHD, Food and Lodging, Building #6.
  • Acceptable payments are cash, money orders or business checks.
Bake Sales and Prepared Meal Fundraisers

Are there any temporary food event exemptions?

Yes. Prepackaged and unopened non-perishable snacks and candy, canned and bottled soft drinks and water in the original container, canned and bottled pasteurized juices in the original container and whole produce are all exempt from permit.

Do I need a temporary food permit if I am giving food away?

No. Food that is given away free of charge are considered exempt from the permitting requirements unless it is given to a commercial food establishment. If you are not sure, it is best to contact an inspector of MCHD.

Can I prepare food for a special event at home?

No storage, slicing, dicing, marinating, cooking or any processes related to food preparation for any food item, dressing, garnish or other is allowed at a private residence for items served to the general public at a special event.

If I register and pay for a temporary permit, does this mean I am approved to operate?

No. The registration is subject to review and food service operations must comply with regulations before the operation.

Is there an annual permit to cover a full special event season?

No. Temporary permits are issued for each event and can only be used at the event.

If I already have a permit for my restaurant or mobile food unit, do I need a temporary food permit?

Yes. A permit is not transferable from person to person or place to place.

Can I prepare food for a special event ahead of time at an approved facility?

Advanced preparation must be approved by the Health Department ahead of time. Menu items, storage, transport, time and temperature will all be considered before such approval is granted. Cooking and cooling food items prior to an event are usually not allowed.


Bake Sales and Prepared Meal Fundraisers

Religious Exemptions will be offered each Wednesday from the hours of 7:30AM to 11:30AM AND WILL RESUME AT 12:30PM until 3:00PM. Located in Bldg 4 & 5 – unless otherwise noted.

*No appointments are necessary, first come first served. Only a limited number of individuals will be allowed in the building at any time due to COVID-19 restrictions (subject to change).

*You must have a written letter requesting exemption on the individual, including date of birth in the body of the letter, picture ID of the Parent/Guardian.

*You will be provided with education on Vaccines and Immunizations.

*Religious Exemptions are not offered to College age or Adults.

*Contact 251-690-8175 or 690-8970 for information-voice mail available.