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FAQs for Temporary Food Facilities

1. What is a temporary food facility?

A TFF is a food facility approved by the enforcement officer that operates at a fixed location for the duration of an approved community event.

2. What is a Community Event?

An event that is of civic, political, public, or educational nature, including state and county fairs, city festivals, circuses, and other public gathering events approved by the local enforcement agency.

3. Do I need a health permit for Temporary Food Facility events?

Yes. When food or beverage items are served to the general public (either selling or giving away food), a health permit is required.

4. What are the requirements for TFF?

See requirements for temporary food facilities

5. How can I obtain the application for a Temporary Food Facility permit?

The application can be obtained by calling Contra Costa County Environmental Health at 925-692-2500 or the form can be obtained online.

6. Is there a deadline to apply for a TFF permit?

Yes, the completed application and applicable fees must be submitted at least 2 weeks prior the scheduled event.

7. Who is required to submit the application?

The coordinator of the event is responsible for submitting the fees and completed application, which includes information and forms for each vendor. Vendors are required to contact the event coordinator to participate in any event and both for-profit and non-profit organizations and/or vendors must completed the required forms.

8. What are the fees for a TFF permit?

There is an application fee for each TFF event and additional permit fee for each for-profit booth operating at the event. Therefore, the total for the TFF will vary depending on the size and/or nature of the event. Please refer to the current fee schedule.

9. Does this additional per booth fee apply to every vendor who operates at the TFF?

No. The per booth fee only applies to for-profit food booths. Non-profit booths and those individuals claiming veterans exemption do not have to pay a per booth fee, however each non-profit booth must provide documentation confirming their non-profit status and non-profit tax I.D. number and every vendor claiming veteran's status must submit a copy of their DD214 form.

In addition, mobile food facilities (vehicles) with an annual health permit from the Contra Costa County is also exempt from paying the additional booth fee. A copy of their current vehicle health permit must be submitted along with the application.

10. If the TFF event is strictly non-profit, am I still required to pay the application fee?

Yes. An application fee is required for all TFF events. This fee is non-refundable and applies to every TFF event regardless of the nature of the event. Non-profit booths and vendors claiming veteran's status are not excluded from paying this application fee and are not exempt from any of the requirements in the operation of TFF event.

A Non-Profit Charitable TFF may operate up to four times annually. These four time periods shall not exceed 72 hours each.

11. What kind of booth do I need for TFF event and how big does it have to be?

All food booths must be fully enclosed with fly-proof netting, unless the booth is selling only prepackaged food that has been prepackaged in an approved, fully enclosed commercial facility. Each booth must be large enough to accommodate all activities involved in the safe handling, sale, service, storage, and preparation of food. Two pass through windows are permitted with a maximum opening of 216 square inches each.

12. Do I need an enclosed booth?

  • Yes, if you are preparing, serving, or sampling non-prepackaged food items.
  • No, if only prepackaged food items are being served.

13. What are the additional requirements for serving/preparing food items at a TFF?

  • The booth must be labeled.
  • The floor surface of the booth must be approved, such as concrete. If the booth is on grass or dirt, provide an approved ground cover.
  • Provide a food probe thermometer to ensure proper hot and cold holding temperatures.
  • Provide a handwashing station with warm water from a container with a handsfree spigot, liquid soap, paper towels, catch basin.
  • Provide a utensil washing set up: 3 buckets (clean water, soapy water, and sanitizer water).
  • Store all food items off the floor at least 6 inches.

14. What kind of equipment and/or food preparation is allowed outside the booth?

No equipment other than an open-air barbecue is allowed outside of the booth. The only food preparation allowed outside the booth is cooking on the bbq where the food is in direct contact with the heat source. All other equipment and food related activities that are not allowed outside of the booth must be kept inside the booth at times during the course of the event.

15. Can I set up a table in front of my restaurant during a TFF event?

This request will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis.

16. Are there any other requirements I should be aware of regarding the cooking of foods in a booth at TFF?

The fire department may have additional requirements regarding the use of cooking equipment and/or the set-up/construction for a food booth at a TFF event. See a list of the additional requirements the fire department may have.

17. Can I sell home prepared food items at a TFF?

No. Home prepared foods or foods from unlicensed food facilities are not allowed to be sold or given away to the public. All food must be from approved commercial sources and must be prepared inside an approved booth or a licensed commercial food facility.

The exception is foods prepared in a registered or permitted cottage food operation. Please see information on cottage food operations on our website.