If you wish to prepare and/or serve time/temperature control for safety (TCS) foods (foods that have to be held hot or cold for safety), you will need to apply for a temporary food license. Examples of these types of foods include, but are not limited to: meats, cooked fruits or vegetables, cut melons, etc. Remember, a cottage food business does not need a temporary food establishment license to sell their products retail at an event.
See “Cottage Food Business” page for additional information.
Temporary food establishments operate for no more than 14 consecutive days in conjunction with an event or celebration. Examples of events or celebrations include, but are not limited to: county fairs, farmer’s markets, grand opening celebrations, customer appreciation day, holiday celebrations, etc. Most events will have an event coordinator whom you should contact in order to secure a spot at the event and learn of any event-specific requirements.
The Idaho Food Code (8-302.11) requires that an applicant shall submit application for permit at least 30 calendar days before the date planned for opening a Food Establishment. In an effort to help accommodate shorter process times, Eastern Idaho Public Health (EIPH) will accept a Temporary Food Application | Español, long with the application fee, up to 14 days before the event. Any applications submitted within two weeks (14 days) of the event will not be accepted. Other health districts may have differing application deadlines, so check with your local health district office.
Only limited menus with minimal food prep will be approved for a temporary food establishment, unless a commissary will be used. A commissary is a place where food containers or supplies are stored, prepared, or packaged for transit, sale, or service at other locations. A commissary is usually a licensed food establishment or other commercial kitchen. A commissary can’t be a private home kitchen. A specific menu must be submitted with the temporary food application, which the inspector will review.
Once the application has been reviewed and approved, a letter will be sent to the applicant stating that they are approved to set up operations at their first scheduled event. An inspection will occur at the beginning of that event and a license issued if the conditions of the permit are met. The license must be posted in public view. If the applicant cannot meet the food code requirements, he/she will be required to cease operations and the license will not be issued.
The permit holder may be able to operate at other events within Idaho in the same calendar year as long as the same menu is served under the same operating conditions. If you wish to operate in another district, contact them prior to operating to learn of any district specific requirements. Notify EIPH of any events you intend to operate at within this district that were not listed on the original application. A temporary or intermittent food establishment may not necessarily be inspected at each event, but the Health District reserves the right to inspect any time the establishment is operating.