What is a Temporary Food Establishment?
A Temporary Food Establishment (TFE) is a type of food establishment that operates for a period of no more than 14 consecutive days in conjunction with a single event or celebration, including carnivals, fairs, festivals, and other events. These establishments are distinguished from other classes of food establishments in the Food Regulations, such as mobile food establishments, caterers, and traditional restaurants.
If you are planning on operating at a temporary event, you are required to obtain the applicable permit from the Local Health Department prior to operation. The permit must be posted where it can easily be seen by the public. A TFE permit is valid only for the specified permit period (up to 12 months) and is not transferable from person to person. Please refer to “Temporary Foodservice Permit Application Submittal and Approval” below for further information on how to apply for a Temporary Food Establishment Permit.
If you hold a valid permanent Virginia Department of Health (VDH) Food Establishment Permit (restaurant, caterer, mobile food establishment, etc.) and are interested in also operating at a temporary event, you do not need to obtain an additional permit so long as all food is prepared in accordance with the Board of Health Food Regulations. The local health department in which you operate your permanent establishment needs to be aware that you also plan to operate at a temporary event. A copy of the VDH Food Establishment Permit must be posted during the event. If you propose to operate at an event in a manner that is not consistent with approved plans and specifications, you are required to obtain a Temporary Food Establishment Permit.
Temporary Food Establishment Application Submittal and Approval
All persons serving food to the public must have a permit for each temporary event. An Application for Temporary Food Establishment Permit must be submitted for each unit (i.e., tent, booth, etc.) that will operate at the temporary event. In addition to the application for permit, a $40.00 permit fee will be charged to the temporary food establishment permit applicant for the first permit he or she acquires during the calendar year. Additional fees will not be charged for future temporary permits in that calendar year. The applicant should retain the receipt showing that a fee(s) has been paid and present it to the local health department where he or she applies for permits later in the year.
The permit fee or proof of previous payment must be sent with the application for permit. Checks or money orders should be made payable to Henrico Health Department. Applications must be submitted to the Health Department at least ten (10) days prior to the event.
The person in charge must also demonstrate knowledge by being a certified food protection manager or by responding correctly to the Environmental Health Specialist’s questions as they relate to the specific food operation.
An Environmental Health Specialist will contact you after your completed application is reviewed to discuss your operation, obtain additional information if needed and answer any questions you may have. Please be advised that temporary food permits will not be issued until fees are paid or proof of previous payment is shown and food safety knowledge has been demonstrated. Temporary food establishment permits are issued by the Health Department on the day of the event, prior to the start of the food operation. A temporary restaurant shall not operate until a permit is issued. If you have any questions, please contact (804) 501-4529.
Temporary Event Coordinators
Event coordinators often provide temporary infrastructure that includes portable toilets and handwash stations for temporary food establishments. A Temporary Event Coordinator Application may be used to alert the local health department as to the dates and times of a proposed event, the number of food vendors, and important resources such as the provision of potable water and wastewater disposal. Event coordinators must submit the application at least ten (10) calendar days before the event in order to assist in the review of the individual temporary food establishment applications.
Temporary Food Permit Application
Temporary Event Coordinator Application
Regulations for Temporary Food Establishments
Our physical address is:
Henrico County Health Department
8600 Dixon Powers Drive
Henrico, VA 23228
Our mailing address is:
Henrico County Health Department
P. O. Box 90775
Henrico, VA 23273-0775
Fax: Food vendors with proof of payment may fax the application with a copy of the receipt to (804) 501-4983.