Out of county vendors need a temporary food establishment permit. The type of permit depends on menu and duration of event. In addition, complex food preparation may need to occur in a Whatcom County commissary kitchen. Visit our Food Permits webpage for more information.
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Temporary food service is defined as a food establishment operating at a fixed location, with a fixed menu, for not more than 21 consecutive days in conjunction with a single event or celebration, such as a fair or festival.
If your event is one (1) day, bring enough extra utensils to change every four (4) hours and to replace any that are dropped or become contaminated. Utensils that come in contact with potentially hazardous foods must be changed every four (4) hours if utensil cleaning facilities are not available on site.
If your event is more than one (1) day and you are applying for a temporary food establishment permit, you need to have a plumbed three (3) compartment sink or commercial dishwasher to wash and sanitize utensils. If the event venue does not have a plumbed three (3) compartment sink or commercial dishwasher, you must have a commissary agreement with a local commercial kitchen. If you have a food establishment permit in Whatcom County, you may use your dishwashing facilities for utensil cleaning.
Some menu items, like smoothies made with dairy, soy or protein products, require frequent cleaning and vendors will need access to a plumbed three (3) compartment sink at the event site. Whatcom County does not allow the three (3) tub method for utensil washing and sanitizing at temporary events.
Operators of petting zoos, county fairs, pony rides, or any similar settings that encourage contact with animals must post a warning sign for visitors about the potential risk of disease. They are to provide easy access to hand washing stations, or as an alternative, an approved method using hand sanitizers. Signs reminding visitors to wash their hands must also be posted at each exit of animal exhibit.
If you have additional questions, please call our office to leave a message or schedule an appointment.