Temporary Food Establishment

Temporary Events

The Temporary Food Establishment program has made revisions to the application and educational materials. Please review the current fee schedule and Requirements to Operate before you submit application and payment. Each Temporary Food Establishment must print the Requirements to Operate and have employees read and sign. This document must be posted or available for review at the time of inspection.

Fee Schedule
Requirements to Operate

If you have questions or comments regarding any of the new information, please call
(253) 798-4709. Your feedback is appreciated and important to the success of the program.

Applications: Please print and complete the appropriate application listed below. Applications and payment must be received 14 days before the event to avoid a late fee.

  • Temporary Food Establishment Application - This application will be used by vendors that are sampling, selling or giving away food to the public that requires temperature control and processing. These vendors must submit an application and pay the permit fee 14 days before the event and meet all sanitation requirements.
  • Courtesy Application - This application will be used by vendors that are sampling commercially prepared products that do not require temperature control. These vendors are not required to pay a permit fee, however they are required to complete the application and meet sanitation requirements.

Certified Booth Operator information

Have you operated a temporary event in Pierce County before with any of the following?

  1. Use same kitchen or facility for food prep/service (example church kitchen)
  2. Use a mobile truck or other self contained unit
  3. Using the same menu and booth set-up for each event

If you answered yes to any of these questions, you may be eligible for a reduction in your permit fees by becoming a Certified Booth Operator. Please contact Amanda Peters at
(253) 798-4709 to see if you qualify.

Course Schedule and Application
CBO classes start March 12, 2014

Temporary Food Establishment general information

A Temporary Food Establishment is a food establishment that operates at a fixed location for a period of time not more than 21 consecutive days in conjunction with a single event or celebration, such as a:

  • Fair;
  • Sporting events;
  • Carnival;
  • Circus;
  • Public exhibition;
  • Festival;
  • Fund raiser; or
  • Similar transitory gathering.

Who Needs to Get a Temporary Food Establishment Permit?

Individuals or groups planning to hold events that are open to the public must obtain a permit. If you advertise your event with fliers, banners, newspaper articles, or by other means, it is considered a public event.

All temporary food establishments must meet other agency requirements, i.e. local fire department, etc.

Church dinners or other unadvertised events that are for members and their guests only, are not subject to Temporary Event permitting.

Bake Sales

Non-profit organizations operating for religious, charitable or educational purposes may hold bake sales with homemade baked goods that do not require temperature control. The items must be prepared and individually wrapped in a sanitary manner. A clearly visible sign at the point of sale must read, “Food was prepared at a kitchen that is not inspected by the Health Department”.

Where to Obtain the Permit Application?

An application may be obtained from Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department or by calling (253) 798-6460, Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. or download an application from this page.

Additional educational handouts:


When should the permit application be returned?

Applications must be returned 14 days before the event. This allows time for Health Department staff to adequately review the application and make any changes necessary well in advance of the event.

Applications can be submitted in person or by mail at:

Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department, Attention: Temporary Events

3629 South D Street
Tacoma, WA 98418

If the application and payment is returned to Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department less than 14 days before the event, a late fee will be assessed in addition to the regular permit fee.