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Topics in Food Safety
Frequently Asked Questions

Temporary Events

Temporary events include fairs, farmer's markets, special events, non-profit fundraisers, etc... the Whatcom County Health Department issues permits for food vendors at these events.

If you are an event coordinator, please click here for a Coordinator's Checklist.  This document will provide us with the information we need to issue permits to all of your food vendors in a timely manner.  Return the Coordinator's Checklist at least 30 days prior to your event.

If you are operating at an event LASTING 3 DAYS OR LESS, you may be eligible for a Waiver, depending on your menu. Waiver permits can be approved for certain simple menus with limited temperature control required. Contact our office for more information.

If you are not eligible for a waiver permit or if your event is 4 - 21 days in duration, you must apply for a Temporary Food Service Permit. For a list of requirements, fees and some examples of low risk foods, click here. Please note that temporary food service permit fees increase if the applications are not received at least 14 days prior to the event.

If you plan to operate at SEVERAL EVENTS, you may be eligible for a Multiple Event Permit. These permits are valid for one year. For more information, contact our office.

Bake Sales

Bake sales with only wrapped, non-potentially hazardous foods may be exempt from permitting requirements. No temporary food establishment permit is required for a nonprofit organization operating for religious, charitable, or educational purposes and selling non-potentially hazardous baked goods. Please click here for more information or call our office for more information.

Northwest Washington Fair

If you plan to operate at the Northwest Washington Fair, you will need a NW Washington Fair Permit. These permits are valid for the length of the Fair only. Click here for guidelines for Northwest Washington Fair. For more information, contact us.

Farmer's Market

Vendors at Farmer's Markets require a temporary food establishment permit. There are several types of permits available depending on the type of food sold and the methods of food preparation required. Market vendor types include:

  • Grocer
  • Food Demonstrator
  • Simple menu food vendor
  • Complex menu food vendor
  • Single Market location vendor
  • Multiple market locations vendor

Application packets are not available on this website. An operating plan assessment is required to assure that you receive the correct application. Contact our office at (360) 676-6724.

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