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Temporary Event Forms

Overview

Temporary Events

Temporary events such as county fairs, city festivals, street events, and other public gatherings 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 that cause 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.

VENDORS/TEMPORARY FOOD FACILITY OPERATORS:

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.

TEMPORARY EVENT VENDOR PERMITS (Event Specific):

Updated 2/1/18

Risk Category 1 Temp Event Vendor – No Prep  

  • Pre-packaged foods only, cold holding, and hot holding allowed.
  • No open foods/ drinks, no prep, and no cooking allowed.
  • Sampling must be pre-portioned, and cannot require temperature controls.

Risk Category 2 Temp Events Vendor – With Prep  

  • Open foods and drinks allowed.
  • On-site food prep and cooking allowed
  • Samples can be prepared on-site

Click here for current temporary event fees.

Obtaining a Temporary Food Facility Permit:

  1. Complete the Temporary Events RC1 or RC2 application.
  2. Submit application and fee(s) to the Event Coordinator. 
  3. The Event Coordinator must submit the completed application and fee(s) to San Mateo County Environmental Health Services at least 2 weeks prior to the event or applications will be denied. Applications and fees sent directly to the Department may be returned.
  4. Once approved, your Event Coordinator will be notified of all approved TFF vendors for the event.

Obtaining a Temporary Event Permit: (Event Coordinators only)

  1. Complete the Temporary Events Coordinator application.
  2. 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 2 weeks prior to the event or applications will be denied.
  3. Once approved, the Event Coordinator will be notified of all approved TFF vendors for the event.

For more information, or questions regarding Temporary Events contact:

AJ Sekhon
(Tuesday-Friday)
asekhon@smcgov.org
650-399-6907

For Temporary Events permit questions and billing:

Jennifer Gonzales
JeGonzales@smcgov.org
650-372-6208

Any other questions or to be directed, call front desk at 650-372-6200.

Vendor (Food/Bev Booth) Application
Coordinator Application
Temporary Event Guidelines
Chapter 11 - Temporary Food Facilities
Chapter 10.5 - Nonprofit Charitable Temporary Food Facilities
Temporary Event Food Safety Quiz
Warm Water and Hand Wash Station Requirements

Commands