Skip to Content

Minimal Preparation: Temporary Food Facility Operational Requirements


Temporary food facility operational requirements differ based on the preparation level. Please meet the requirements for your level of preparation when designing and using your temporary food facility.

Definition: Minimal Preparation

Minimal Preparation permits are issued for temporary food facilities that sell or give away processed food, including temporary food facilities that conduct low-risk food preparation such as coffee, snow cones, kettle corn, and lemonade. Temporary food facilities that prepare samples by cutting or portioning of food (including produce) as well as those that sell prepackaged potentially hazardous food items such as prepackaged cheese and ice cream would also fit into this category.

Site Requirements and Equipment Plan

Food Facilities with Limited Food Preparation Activities

Floors, Walls, and Ceiling

  • Floor: Canvas, plywood, plastic, tarp, concrete or asphalt.
  • Walls: No side walls needed for facilities conducting limited food preparation.
  • Ceiling: A canopy or roof structure is required for overhead protection.


  • Not applicable

Signs and Documentation

  • Facility name in letters at least 3" high.
  • Operator name, city, state and zip code at least 1" high letters.
  • Food permit posted in public view.
  • Notice informing public that last inspection report is available for review.
  • Temporary Food Facility Self-Inspection Checklist completed and signed prior to preparing food.


  • All food stored 6" off floor.
  • Overnight food must be held in a permitted food facility.

Hot Holding Equipment

  • Booths with perishable hot foods shall provide adequate hot holding equipment (e.g., steam tables, chafing dishes) to hold perishable food at 135° or higher.
  • At the end of the day, perishable food that is held at 135° must be discarded.

Food Preparation Counters

  • Must have adequate counter space/cutting boards to prep food.


  • Facilities with perishable food must provide a metal probe thermometer accurate to ±1°C or 2°F.

Cold Handling Equipment

  • Ice for cooler chests shall not be used for consumption.

Refrigeration Equipment

  • Provide adequate cold holding equipment to hold perishable food at 45°F or colder. At the end of the operating day, perishable food held at 45°F must be discarded.
  • If perishable food is held at 41°F or colder during the day, it may be kept overnight. Overnight storage requires being held in a permitted food facility, mechanical refrigeration and the food must be held at 41°F or colder.

Water Supply

  • 20 gallons/facility/day in addition to that needed for food preparation.


  • Potable water containers and approved food-grade hoses.

Handwashing in Booth

  • 5-gallon warm water (100°F to 108°F) supply in a container with a hands-free spigot, catch bucket for waste water, paper towels and soap in a pump dispenser.
  • Facilities that operate more than three consecutive days shall provide plumbed handwashing facilities equipped with warm running water. Hand soap and single-use paper towels must be provided in permanently installed dispensers at each handwashing facility.

Utensil Washing

  • Provide three 5-gallon containers for washing, rinsing and sanitizing. First container shall contain hot soapy water, second container shall have clean rinse water and the third container shall contain a tepid sanitizer solution.
  • Temporary food facilities that operate for more than 3 consecutive days at a community event and handle unpackaged perishable food must be equipped with a plumbed stainless steel utensil-washing sink with three compartments and two integrally installed stainless steel drain boards. The sink compartments and drain boards shall be large enough to accommodate the largest utensil or piece of equipment to be cleaned. The sink shall be provided with hot (120°F) and cold running water from a mixing valve.
  • If an event is four hours or less and extra sets of sanitized utensils are provided, a utensil washing area is not required.

Toilet Facilities with Lavatory

  • Toilet facilities must be located within 200 feet, with running water, soap and paper towels.

Trash Cans

  • Leak- and fly-proof refuse containers.