Temporary Food Establishment Permit

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Frequently Asked Questions

Who needs to get a temporary food establishment permit?

Individuals or groups planning to serve or sell food at events open to the public must obtain a permit. If you advertise your event using fliers, banners, newspaper articles, Facebook or other means, it is considered a public event.

All temporary food establishments must meet other agency requirements (e.g., local fire department).

Church dinners or other unadvertised events for members and their guests only do not require a temporary food establishment permit.
 

Do bake sales require a temporary food establishment permit?

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.”

Such bake sales do not require a temporary food establishment permit.
 

Where can I get a temporary food establishment permit application?

Online application: Click here to apply using the online application.

Paper application: Click here view and print the temporary food establishment permit application.

In person: Go to Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department, at 3629 South D Street in Tacoma, and ask for an application.
 

When should I submit my temporary food establishment permit application?

To avoid late fees, applications must be received or postmarked at least 14 calendar days before the event. This allows time for Health Department staff to adequately review the application and make any necessary changes well in advance of the event.
 

How can I submit my temporary food establishment permit application?

Online application: Click here to apply and pay using the online application.

In person: Bring your application and payment to Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department at 3629 South D Street in Tacoma, Monday–Friday, 8 a.m.–4 p.m. You can pay using cash, business check, money order, Visa or MasterCard.

By mail: Mail your application and payment to Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department, 3629 South D Street, ATTN: Temporary Events, Tacoma, WA, 98418. You can pay using business check or money order.
 

Are some things not allowed at temporary food establishments?

Some items/processes are not allowed at temporary food establishments. This includes, but is not limited to:

  • Raw milk
  • Cooking gyro bundles or cones
  • Cooling food of any kind
  • Room temperature storage or time as a control for items like sushi rice

If you are unsure if an item is allowed, you must call (253) 798-4709 to find out. 


 

Questions?

Call (253) 798-4709.