Guidelines for the Operation of a Temporary Food Service Establishment in Baldwin County

A temporary food service establishment is any food service establishment that operates at a fixed location for a period of time, not to exceed 14 consecutive days in conjunction with a single special event or celebration.

Food vendors must make application and pay fee in advance of the event. Included on the application will be questions regarding a brief description of the food unit and a list of foods to be prepared.

In order to insure that temporary food service establishments are operated in a sanitary manner and to protect the public health, the Baldwin County Health Department has provided this guideline for the operation of a temporary food service establishment. This guideline provides an explanation of the minimum requirements which must be met in order to be issued a permit to operate your establishment in Baldwin County, Alabama. However, the guideline is not meant to replace Rules of State Board of Health Chapter 420-3-22, Food Establishment Sanitation, which contains the complete regulations for temporary food service establishments.

Permit Procedure

Alabama Law requires that temporary food service establishments be permitted by the health department. Prior to the operation of an establishment, the owner/operator must apply for the food permit. The fee is $50.00 and must be submitted at least 14 days prior to the festival start. The fee for permit applications received less than 14 days prior to the festival start will be $75. (Applications and fees cannot be accepted at a festival or other event)

Walls and Ceiling

All food preparation, cooking, utensil washing, etc. must be done in an enclosed trailer, tent, or booth, except that a covered grill may be used outside.

Water Supply

Temporary food service establishments must have a potable water system that provides enough water for food preparation, cleaning and sanitizing utensils and equipment, and for hand washing. A food grade hose must be used to connect to the water supply. Hose bib's should be protected with a back flow prevention device when a hose is attached. The water system must provide hot and cold running water under pressure to the utensil washing sink.

Sewage and Waste Water

Temporary food service establishments must have a waste water holding tank or must be connected to a sanitary sewer system.

Other Requirements

All temporary food service establishments must have a three-compartment sink and a hand wash sink. They must also have facilities to maintain all foods below 45 degrees or above 135 degrees. A metal stem thermometer must be available for checking food temperatures. All food that is to be served must be obtained from an approved source.

Forms Available

For more information, please contact the Baldwin County Health Department at (251) 947-3618.

Page last updated: January 5, 2023