Temporary Events

Temporary Events are community events conducted for not more than 25 consecutive or nonconsecutive days in a 90-day period and that is of civic, political, public, or educational nature, including state and county fairs, city festivals, circuses, and other public gathering events approved by the Department of Environmental Health, where food is given away or sold to the general public. Temporary events usually consist of one or more food booths/operations, also known as temporary food facilities (TFF). It is the responsibility of the Santa Clara Department of Environmental Health to review all TFFs to ensure the protection and food safety of the public.

 

 

EVENT COORDINATOR:

The Event Coordinator is the person or organization that is responsible for organizing food-related activities shared by the temporary food facilities (TFF) operating at a temporary event. It is the responsibility of the Event Coordinator to be familiar with the rules and guidelines of the TFFs that will be operating at their event. He or she liaises and works closely with the Department of Environmental Health to ensure safe and successful food services at the event.

 

ALL EVENTS MUST SUBMIT THE EVENT ORGANIZER/COORDINATOR APPLICATION AND RECEIVE A PERMIT TO OPERATE A TEMPORARY EVENT

*If you will have two or more temporary food or beverage operations, the Event Coordinator permit fee applies.*

 

Event Coordinator instructions to submit an event packet:

  1. Complete the Event Organizer/Coordinator Permit Application located on the bottom of this page.
  2. Identify and confirm each temporary food or beverage facility participating in your event. 
  3. Collect all required applications, supporting documentation and applicable permit fee from each participating TFF.  Ensure that all forms are legible and complete.
    1. A permit is required for all TFFs (unless otherwise specified) that will sample, sell, prepare, or give away food or beverage (unpackaged or prepackaged) to the public. These applications count towards the number of food operations when determining the Event Coordinator fee.
      1. If alcoholic beverages will be served at the event, in addition to the DEH permit(s), the Non-Profit Organization organizing the event must contact the California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control at (916) 419-2500 or www.abc.ca.gov to obtain the license for the event.
    2. Mobile food facilities (carts/trucks/trailers):
      1. Out-of-county permitted mobile food facilities (MFF):  Generally, MFFs need an annual SCC MFF permit to operate in SCC. Instead of requiring an MFF to obtain an annual SCC MFF permit to attend an event, if the organizer has at least one food booth TFF, DEH can issue a TFF permit to the out-of-county MFF to operate at the event.

        1. Out-of-county permitted mobile food facilities (MFF) must submit a TFF application, TFF permit fee, and a copy of their valid Environmental Health permit (or HCD Insignia for occupied MFFs if no EH permit) issued by their local jurisdiction. They must be in good standing with their local jurisdiction. 

        2. Occupied MFFs must have an HCD Insignia to operate in California. Contact the California Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD) at (916) 255-2501 or www.hcd.ca.gov for more information on how to obtain an HCD Insignia.

        3. These operators count towards the number of food operations when determining the Event Coordinator fee.

      2. In-county permitted MFFs must have a current permit decal, annual Environmental Health permit and be in good standing to operate in Santa Clara County (SCC).  TFF applications and TFF permit fees are not required to operate at temporary events.

        1. These operators do not count towards the number of food operations when determining the Event Coordinator fee.

      3. Provide a site plan showing the locations of the food booth(s), MFFs, toilet and hand washing facilities, and waste disposal locations (garbage/trash, liquid waste, grease waste, metal waste container)
        1. If the event is large, include a list of all food vendors with their booth numbers and a map depicting the booth number.

  4. Only the Event Coordinator can submit applications to the Department; we do not accept applications directly from vendors.  Submit your event packet (applications, supporting documentation, site plan and payment) at least 2 weeks before your event to:

    Department of Environmental Health
    Attn: Temporary Events
    1555 Berger Drive, Suite 300
    San Jose, CA 95112-2716

    1. Payment may be made by cash, check, cashier’s check and/or money order made payable to The of County of Santa Clara to cover all temporary event fees.

    2. For debit or credit card payment: DEH generates one event invoice that includes all applicable fees due – Event Coordinator and food vendor fees. Contact the Program Senior at least 3 weeks prior to the event start date if you wish to remit payment via debit or credit card.  Online payments by credit card or e-check may only be made for the entire invoice balance – no partial payments.

 

Temporary Food Facilities (TFF) or food booths are food operations

 

VENDORS/TEMPORARY FOOD FACILITY OPERATORS:

Temporary Food Facilities (TFF) or food booths are food operations that operate at approved public events.  An Environmental Health permit is required to operate a TFF whenever food or beverage (unpackaged or prepackaged) is sampled, sold, prepared, or given away to the public.  Food shall be obtained from sources that comply with all applicable laws.  Food stored or prepared in a private home shall not be used or offered for sale unless that food is prepared by a cottage food operation that is registered or has a permit.  Permitted operations are inspected by the Department of Environmental Health.

Note:  A processor of general food commodities (e.g. baked goods, noodles, processed fresh vegetables, seafood, snack foods, dietary supplements, etc.) must obtain a Processed Food Registration (PFR) from the California Department of Public Health Food and Drug Branch.  The PFR is needed prior to obtaining a TFF permit from DEH.  For more information, visit the state website: Processed Food Registration.

If you use a co-packer and receive the food a day or more before the event, complete the “Advance Preparation/Storage activities at approved kitchen” section on the TFF application.

 

Food vendor instructions on obtaining a temporary food facility (food vendor) permit:

  1. Complete the Temporary Food Facility (Food Vendor) application, located on the bottom of this page.

  2. Submit your TFF application and the applicable permit fee to the Event Coordinator.  Applications and fees received directly from vendors or incomplete application may be returned.  The Event Coordinator must submit the completed application and fee to the Department of Environmental Health at least 2 weeks prior to the event or a 25% late fee will apply.  

    1. If you will have more than one (1) food booth/operation, submit a separate application and TFF permit fee for each booth/operation. 

  3. If you have an out-of-county permitted mobile food facility (MFF), submit a TFF application, TFF permit fee, and a copy of the MFF’s valid Environmental Health permit issued by the local jurisdiction, or HCD Insignia for occupied vehicles if no EH permit. If the occupied MFF does not have an HCD Insignia, contact the State of California Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD) at (916) 255-2501 to request how to obtain the HCD Insignia.

  4. Additional licenses, permits or registrations may be required in order for the Department to approve a TFF operation.  If required, submit a copy of the supporting license/permit/registration with the TFF application to prevent delays.  For example:

    1. A Processed Food Registration (PFR) from the California Department of Public Health – Food and Drug Branch is required for pre-packaged processed foods.
    2. A CDFA license is required for manufacturing milk, ice cream or soft-serve products.
    3. A Cottage Food Operator registration or permit is required to make approved cottage foods from a home kitchen.
  5. If any potentially hazardous foods (PHFs) will be held at room temperature, submit a Time as a Public Health Control (TPHC) plan for approval.

    1. The Time as a Public Health Control (TPHC) Guidelines document is available on our Food Safety Handouts webpage.
  6. If providing multiuse utensils at the event, submit a plan for review and approval to address the volume and storage of potable water for warewashing and waste water capacity.
  7. Once all event applications are approved, permits will be sent to the Event Coordinator who will distribute your permit to you. Your permit must be posted in public view at your TFF (i.e., booth) at all times during operation.

Informational documents are provided below to help you prepare and operate your TFF in a safe and effective manner.

 

Current Environmental Health Permit Fees:

ADVISORY NOTES:

Selling food or beverages without a valid Environmental Health permit will result in the immediate closure of the food facility, may result in the issuance of a misdemeanor citation, possible fines, and denial of future health permits.

The Event Coordinator must submit the completed applications and fees to the Department of Environmental Health at least 2 weeks prior to the event of a 25% late fee will apply.

 

NUMBER OF FOOD OPERATIONS

EVENT COORDINATOR FEE

1 FOOD OPERATION

​$ 0.00

​2 TO 10 FOOD OPERATIONS

​$ 172.00

​11 TO 20 FOOD OPERATIONS

​$ 252.00

​21 FOOD OPERATIONS OR MORE

​$ 343.00

 

PERMIT TYPES
FOOD VENDOR CATEGORIES

PERMIT FEE: 1-12 DAYS
PER EVENT

PERMIT FEE: 13-25 DAYS
PER EVENT

​Risk Category 1 (RC1) Low Risk ​$ 99.00 ​$ 99.00
​Risk Category 2 (RC2) Moderate Risk ​$ 145.00 ​$ 202.00
​Risk Category 3 (RC3) High Risk ​$ 186.00 ​$ 241.00

​Sampling Only - No food/beverage sales

  • Limited to small sample sizes
​$ 88.00 ​$ 88.00
Mobile Food Facilities - carts/vehicles 
permitted by SCC DEH
​No temp event fee required;
operating with annual SCC DEH permit
-
Mobile Food Facilities - carts/vehicles NOT
under permit by SCC DEH
Fee will depend on menu - RC 1, 2 or 3​ Fee will depend on menu - RC 1, 2 or 3​

​Veteran

  • Must submit Affidavit for a Veteran's
    Exemption form and all required
    documentation (see form)
  • Veterans are not exempt from late fees,
    reinspection fees, or enforcement fees

$ 0.00

$ 0.00

 

RISK CATEGORY DESCRIPTIONS:

 

Risk Category 1 (RC 1) Low Risk includes:

  • Prepackaged, non-potentially hazardous foods (non-PHFs).
  • Prepares only non-PHFs.  Examples include prepackaged foods/beverages, kettle corn, candies.
  • Heating and serving commercially manufactured ready to eat foods with no further processing/cooking.  Examples include canned chili beans, hot dogs, nacho cheese.
  • Food operation may operate on a single day or for multiple days.

 

Risk Category 2 (RC2) Moderate Risk includes:

  • Potentially hazardous food (PHF) that is prepared and cooked for same day service to customers (hamburgers, tacos, chicken wings, cut melons, etc.).
  • No cooling of PHFs is allowed.
    • An operator conducting a high-risk operation (RC3 – cooking and cooling PHFs to serve cold or reheat at the event) who has a valid annual health permit at a brick-and-mortar food facility or MFF operation and is inspected by the local enforcement agency may be downgraded to RC2. You must provide a copy of your permit with the TFF application.
  • All prepared food is to be discarded at the end of day (includes hot food and any cold food that have exceeded 41⁰F).

 

Risk Category 3 (RC3) High Risk includes:

  • Food that is prepared, cooked and cooled in advance of the event (such as potato salad, chicken pot pies, and tamales, etc.) at an approved facility that is permitted and inspected by the local enforcement agency (i.e., you are not the permit holder at a brick and mortar fixed food facilityyou are renting kitchen space or using the facility with the facility owner's permission).
  • Food that is prepared at an approved food facility for multi-day use.
  • Must submit Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) for review and approval.
  • All prepared food is to be discarded at end of day (includes hot food and any cold food that have exceeded 41⁰F).

 

 

CRAVEN ACT EXEMPTION (DONATED FOODS):
A Non-Profit Organization that coordinates a community event and receives 100% of the food (including beverages) donated from for-profit food facilities that receive no monetary benefit (only public recognition for their donation) may qualify for this exemption. Collect the For-Profit Declaration forms from the donating facilities and submit them along with your Non-Profit Declaration form, a copy of your IRS tax determination letter, and a cover letter describing your event to the Department at least 2 weeks before your event.  Once all required information is reviewed and approved, an Authorization letter will be generated and sent to you.

 

Coronavirus COVID 19 Directive
Effective June 15th, 2021 the State of California re-opened the economy and moved to the Beyond the Blueprint tier system.  All protocols can be found at https://www.cdph.ca.gov/Programs/CID/DCDC/Pages/COVID-19/Beyond-Blueprint-Framework.aspx

Guidance for the Use of Face Coverings (June 15)

 

For more information or questions regarding Temporary Events contact:
Yvonne Blanco, REHS
Senior Environmental Health Specialist
[email protected]
(408) 918-3481

Or call (408) 918-3400 and ask to speak to Administrative Support for Temporary Events

 

Temporary Event Applications and Forms

Documents

Useful Information

©2021 County of Santa Clara. All rights reserved.