What type of equipment do I need to operate a temporary food establishment event?

In addition to a hand washing sink, you need to have enough functioning equipment to keep potentially hazardous food at the proper temperature. The outdoor booths must have an overhead cover over storage areas, food preparation, cooking and serving areas. You need walls when it is necessary to protect food and food equipment from the elements.

If you use ice chests ensure you have enough ice to completely submerge food so that it can hold food at 41°F or less. Keep ice chests and refrigerators out of direct sunlight. Equipment must hold food at 135°F or hotter. Sterno chafers are not allowed at events unless the event is indoors and less than four hours. You must have a thermometer to ensure foods are holding properly and are cooked to the proper temperatures.

For more information on setting up and operating temporary food establishments, please see the Checklist for Temporary Food Establishment Operation. 


Checklist for Temporary Food (PDF)

Show All Answers

1. Do I need a permit to operate a restaurant, grocery store, tavern or similar facility?
2. I just bought a food establishment business, what permits do I need from Whatcom County Health and Community Services?
3. I am planning to open a restaurant or other food establishment in Whatcom County, what should I do first?
4. What is a temporary food establishment?
5. What events require a temporary food establishment permit?
6. What permits do I need to sell food at a fair, festival or community event?
7. What is a public event?
8. What forms of payment do you accept?
9. How do I receive my permit?
10. Do I still need a permit if I am not charging for the food?
11. Where do I obtain a food worker card?
12. I have a current food worker card, do I still need a temporary food establishment permit?
13. I am organizing an event and I want to invite multiple food vendors. What do I need to do?
14. I am a permitted caterer in Whatcom County, do I need a permit to offer food at an event?
15. What type of equipment do I need to operate a temporary food establishment event?
16. I’m an out of county food vendor: what type of permit do I need to offer food at an event and can I make food at my restaurant and serve it at a Whatcom County event?
17. I have a current permit for operating a mobile unit in Whatcom County: do I need an additional permit to operate at a temporary event?
18. What permit do I need to operate at the Northwest Washington Fair (NWWF)?
19. What type of produce am I allowed to offer at a temporary food establishment event?
20. Where do I clean utensils?
21. My proposed menu requires advanced preparation of food, can I make and prepare food at home?
22. Can I cook food, cool it down and reheat it later for service?
23. I would like to have a petting zoo at my event: what are the requirements?
24. Do I need any additional permits to have a temporary food establishment event?
25. How do I find out more information?