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Temporary Food Service Permits

Temporary food permits are required for any event where food is served to the public, even if it is given away for free. These permits are required in order to ensure that vendors understand the hazards involved in food handling and are equipped to handle food properly in order to prevent outbreaks of foodborne illness from occurring.

What is a Temporary Food Establishment?

A temporary food establishment is one that serves food to the public at a fixed location for not more than twenty-one consecutive days in conjunction with a single event or celebration. If the event is advertised to the general public with flyers, banners, newspaper articles or by any other means, a temporary food permit is required. It makes no difference whether the food is being sold for profit or provided at no charge.

Are there any events that DO NOT require temporary food permits?

Your event is not considered a temporary food service if the food is prepared or provided by members of the group for members of the group and their invited guests such as:

  • a meeting or an event of a private or charitable organization, association, or club;
  • an activity of a church or other religious congregation;
  • a gathering such as a party, picnic, or potluck held by a neighborhood, family, community, school, or office;
  • a traditional Native Potlatch.

Again, this is only if the gathering is private. Any public advertisement or public invitation will mean a permit is required.

What about a BAKE SALE?

A bake sale is not considered a temporary event as long as only non-potentially hazardous baked goods are served and it is for a non-profit or charitable, educational or religious organization. You must list all ingredients and display a placard that states that the food is prepared in a kitchen that is not inspected by a regulatory authority. You may not touch any ready to eat foods with bare hands. Wear food safety gloves at all times while individually wrapping foods. Take extra precautions when dealing with known allergens such as: milk, egg, peanut, tree nuts, soy, and wheat. Clearly label all common allergens on the individually wrapped baked goods. Non-potentially hazardous food examples are cookies, muffins and cakes. No cream pies, cream fillings or anything that needs to be kept refrigerated.

I sell items at a local FARMERS' MARKET; do I need a temporary food service permit?

Clallam County offers an Extended Temporary Permit for food vendors. Use the Temporary Food Service Application for farmers' market applications. The permit is good for one year and is based on the original menu served at the same recurring location.


Complete an application for Temporary Food Service Permit and submit it with the correct fees at least ten (10) working days before the event. An Environmental Health Specialist will review the application, and contact the applicant with questions or any necessary changes. Download a detailed brochure about temporary food service permits.

Clallam County Health & Human Services
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