This information has
been developed to help concessionaires set up and run food operations in a
sanitary and healthful manner and to minimize the risk of foodborne
To avoid problems, concessionaires are encouraged to contact the county
health department where the event will be held as early as possible when
planning a food booth.
An Environmentalist will be pleased to help you with your plans. He/she
will point out the steps that must be taken to help ensure a sanitary
operation that will protect the public from foodborne illness.
These are standard requirements and recommendations, the County
Environmentalist may have specific additional requirements depending on
the food to be prepared and served, the general location of the event or
food concession area, the availability of city water and sewage, and other
Individuals or groups planning to hold events that are open to the
public must have a permit. The Rules of the State Board of Health require
that a permit to operate a temporary food booth be obtained prior to any
food being sold. Each concession must have its own permit.
If you advertise the event with with flyers, banners, newspaper
articles, or by any other means, it is considered a public event.
A valid permit shall be conspicuously posted in every temporary food
service establishment. This helps ensure that the food sold will be as
safe as possible. Many outbreaks of foodborne illness have been traced
back to food improperly handled at temporary events.
APPLICATION FOR A PERMIT
The application form may be obtained from the County Health Department.
Individuals should submit an application in order for the Health
Department to review the proposed food service techniques.
The Health Department's Environmentalist will work with you to review
the following steps:
The types of foods to be preparedHow they will be prepared The methods
used to keep foods hot and coldSource of foods
He/she may also suggest techniques that will enable your booth to
operate more efficiently and safely.
It is recommended that the application be returned a minimum of 3 weeks
before the event. This allows time for the Health Department staff to
adequately review the procedures and to make any changes necessary well in
advance of the event.
WHAT ARE THE REQUIREMENTS TO OPERATE?
(1.) Application for a permit - Fill out an application at least
3 weeks before the event. Permit approval and fees are required before
(2.) Inspections - Food booth operators may be required to make
an appointment for a pre-opening inspection prior to the first day of the
event. Selling is not allowed to begin before the permit is issued.
Inspections may be conducted frequently during operation.
(3.) All food preparation must be done in an approved kitchen
facility, or a properly equipped and approved booth or mobile unit.
Approved means permitted by the Health Department. Keep foods protected
and at safe hot or cold temperatures (140F or hotter, or 45F or colder)
during storage and transportation.
(4.) Source of foods - To minimize the risk of food-borne
illness, home-prepared and home-canned foods, ice made at home, raw (unpasteurized)
milk, or storage of foods at private homes are not allowed. Meats brought
in to use must be USDA inspected and have original label or the invoice
(5.) Cooking - All cooking of foods must be done towards the
back or the booth. When barbequing or using a grill, the equipment must be
separated (roped off) from the public. Adequate protection from flies and
other insects is required. Screening, mesh flaps, or fly fans are
acceptable if effective. Overhead protection is required for food handling
areas. Tents and other materials should be fire retardant.
(6.) Cold holding - Proper refrigeration or cold storage
facilities are required for cold, potentially hazardous foods.
Mechanical refrigeration is requested; however, in case of possible
power outages, it is advisable to have a backup method such as insulated
containers and ice from an approved source (that is, clean store bought
ice, or ice from an approved facility). Storage of prepacked food in
contact with water or undrained ice is prohibited. Wrapped foods such as
sandwiches shall not be stored in direct contact with ice. Ice for
consumption must be separated from ice used for storage and kept in a food
(7.) Reheating - Crock pots, steam tables, or other hot holding
devices are not to be used as a means of heating up foods; they are to be
used only for hot holding purposes. We recommend that reheated foods be
done on the grill or on a propane stove to bring the food temperature to
at least 165F within 30 minutes.
Crock pots, steam tables, or other hot holding devices are slow
cooking, and may allow the rapid multiplication of bacteria that cause
food poisoning. All cooking equipment shall be of approved design and
properly installed to meet local fire and safety codes. Equipment such as
deep fat fryers must be set on a stable surface.
(8.) Hot holding - For hot holding, electrical equipment is
recommended. However, other methods, such as propane stoves, grills or
other equipment capable of holding food at 140F and above may be used, and
should be available for backup. Canned heat is allowed, if it maintains
(9.) A metal-stem thermometer must be available and used to
check internal food temperatures. Thermometers may be purchased from
restaurant supply companies or from large variety stores. They must be
able to measure from 0 to 220F.
(10.) Leftovers may not be sold, served, or used in the booth.
Hot foods which have not been used by the end of the day must be
(11.) Handwashing facilities - This facility shall consist of,
at least, warm running water, soap, individual paper towels, and a bucket
to collect the dirty water. For example, a jug of warm water or tea urn
with a turn spout (not a push button) is an acceptable method to obtain
warm running water that may be allowed in some very limited situations.
Hands may not be washed in dishwashing sinks.
(12.) Dishwashing facilities - Equipment and utensils must be
washed in three compartment sinks. The process includes washing the
utensils in hot water, rinsing in clean water, sanitizing, air drying.
If you choose to use bleach as the sanitizer, the recommended STARTING
concentration is 1 capful of bleach added to 1 gallon of cool water. The
concentration of 50-200 parts per million must be verified with a test
Hands may not be washed in dishwashing sinks.
(13.) Restrooms - Sponsors should provide access to restrooms
with hot and cold running water for foodworkers.
(14.) Liquid waste shall not be dumped into streets, storm
drains, or on the ground. Sponsors should provide waste collection points
for proper disposal.
(15.) Wiping cloths - Use a bucket of clean, sanitizing water
for wiping cloth storage. Wiping towels used for wiping down counters and
table tops must be clean and used for no other purpose. The towels must be
rinsed in a sanitizing solution frequently. If you choose to use bleach as
the sanitizer, the recommended STARTING concentration is 1 capful of
bleach added to 1 gallon of cool water. The concentration of 50-200 parts
per million must be verified with a test kit. NOTE - Do not add soap to
the water as this makes the solution ineffective as a sanitizer.
(16.) Smoking, eating, or drinking is prohibited in the booth.
No unauthorized persons are allowed in the booth.
(17.) Hair restraints are to be worn when handling food.
(18.) Direct hand contact of ready-to-eat food is generally
prohibited. Use single-use, disposable gloves, tongs or utensils to handle
food whenever possible.
(19.) Sick workers (with a cold, flu, or other disease that may
be transmitted through food, or with an infected cut) are NOT allowed in
(20.) Chemicals (detergents, sanitizers, insect spray, etc.)
shall be stored in a separate place away from foods and plates, cups, and
so forth, so no accidental contamination or spillage is possible.
(21.) Bring a broom and a dustpan.
(22.) Garbage - Sponsors should provide sanitary disposal or
garbage. Containers must be insect and rodent proof if not removed
IMPORTANT POINTS TO REMEMBER:
Improper cooling, reheating, hot holding, and excessive food handling
are the major causes of foodborne illness outbreaks. In order to reduce
the risk of an illness, you must:
AVOID COOLING AND REHEATING FOODS. For example, use canned chili
instead of trying to prepare fresh chili; prepare taco meat just before
serving it rather than cooking ahead, cooling and reheating; use canned
refried beans instead of making beans from scratch.
AVOID HOT HOLDING OF FOODS. For example, make tacos and burritos to
order rather than trying to keep them hot after cooking; cook raw shish
kebob to order instead of cooking ahead of time and holding
MINIMIZE FOOD HANDLING. Keep food handling methods as simple as
possible. For example, commercial products such as store-bought potato,
macaroni, or pasta salads are easy to use and easy to handle. We recommend
that these types of prepared commercial products be used rather than
trying to prepare them yourself ahead of time or in the booth.
Potentially hazardous foods not otherwise
specified, including eggs for immediate service
|Pork and any food containing pork; game animals;
|Poultry, poultry stuffing, stuffed meats and
stuffings containing meat
|Ground beef, ground fish (fish sticks, patties,
etc.), other ground meats, injected meats and eggs other than
Part 1 above
|15 sec or
1 min or
Large cuts of meat (over 3 pounds) are not allowed to be cooked (for
example, barbequed), these will need to be cut into smaller pieces so that
the cooking time is much faster.
See "Important Points to Remember" above. If there is no way
to avoid reheating a food, then the County Health Department will require
specific equipment for this operation. All potentially hazardous foods
that have been cooked and refrigerated shall be rapidly reheated
throughout to at least 165F for 15 seconds before being placed in a hot
food holding facility.
COLD HOLDING - Potentially hazardous foods stored cold should be stored
at an internal food temperature of about 40F or below (under
refrigeration), 45F is the maximum allowed refrigeration temperature.
HOT HOLDING - See "Important Points to Remember" above. If
there is no way to avoid hot holding of potentially hazardous food, then
the food must be kept at 140F or above.
Room temperature storage of potentially hazardous food is prohibited.
Except when undergoing necessary preparation, foods found to not be at the
required storage temperatures are subject to condemnation and destruction.
FINALLY - - -
Your cooperation will be greatly appreciated and will help make the
entire event run smoothly. Remember, these are standard requirements and
recommendations, the County Environmentalist may have specific additional
requirements depending on the food to be prepared and served, the general
location of the event or food concession area, the availability of city
water and sewage, and other local considerations.
If there are additional questions, contact your County Health
Jefferson County, AL., Department of Health
Tacoma-Pierce County, WA., Department of Health
Alabama Department of Public Health
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