Temporary Event Forms
Temporary events such as county fairs, city festivals, street events, and other events open to the general public are to be approved and permitted by San Mateo County Environmental Health Services. They consist of one or more food booths, also known as temporary food facilities (TFF). It is the responsibility of San Mateo County Environmental Health Services to inspect permitted facilities to ensure temporary food establishments operate in a safe and sanitary manner. These inspections ensure that temporary food facilities operate in compliance with local, state, and federal regulations.
Temporary events and temporary food facilities often handle large volumes of food with limited physical facilities and equipment, making food safety especially important. Poor sanitation and hygiene practices can spread germs and may cause certain illnesses such as diarrhea, vomiting, nausea, fever, and, in certain circumstances, death.
A permit to operate a temporary food facility is required before the event may open for business. It is the Event Coordinator’s responsibility to also contact any other agencies, such as California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control, Fire Department, City or County Planning Department, or Building Department to obtain permits and approval.
Obtaining a Temporary Event Permit: (Event Coordinators only)
- Complete the Temporary Events Coordinator application.
- Submit the Coordinator application and fee, as well as all Vendor applications and fee(s) as one packet to San Mateo County Environmental Health Services at least 14 CALENDAR DAYS prior to the event.
- Failure to submit an event packet AND PAYMENT 14 calendar days prior to the event will be subject to late penalties or be denied.
- Once approved, the Event Coordinator will be notified of all approved TFF vendors for the event.
Obtaining a Temporary Food Facility Permit:
- Complete the Temporary Events RC1 or RC2 application.
- Submit application and fee(s) to the Event Coordinator.
- The Event Coordinator must submit the completed application and fee(s) to San Mateo County Environmental Health Services at least 14 calendar days prior to the event or applications will subject to late penalties or be denied. Applications and fees sent directly to the Department may be returned.
- Once approved, your Event Coordinator will be notified of all approved TFF vendors for the event.
Determining Risk Category for a Temporary Food Facility Permit:
A health permit is required to operate a temporary food facility (TFF), whenever food or beverage (prepackaged or unpackaged) is sampled, sold, prepared, or given away to the public. Food shall be obtained from sources that comply with all applicable laws. Food stored or prepared in a private home shall not be used or offered for sale unless that food is prepared by a cottage food operation that is registered or has a permit. Permitted operations are inspected by Environmental Health Services.
Risk Category 1A Temp Event Vendor – Pre-packaged foods/beverages ONLY (no sampling)
- Pre-packaged foods only, cold and hot holding allowed
- No handwash sink required
Risk Category 1B Temp Event Vendor – Pre-packaged foods/beverages (with sampling)
- Pre-packaged food, cold and hot holding allowed
- No onsite mixing, cutting, or food prep allowed
- Bulk dispensing of beverages
- Handwash sink required
- Sampling must be pre-portioned at an approved food facility
Risk Category 2 Temp Event Vendor – On-site food prep and cooking allowed
- Samples can be prepared on-site
- Booth must be fully enclosed with approved screening.
Click here for current temporary event fees.
For more information, or questions regarding Temporary Events contact:
Any other questions or to be directed, call the front desk at (650) 372-6200.