Changes to Temporary Food Permit Process

March 6, 2017

Before patrons eat at fairs, festivals and other events in Northern Kentucky, the Northern Kentucky Health Department inspects all temporary food establishments to ensure that basic food safety and sanitation requirements are being met to help prevent food-borne illnesses. Such events are frequent: In 2016, more than 1,000 temporary food permits were issued to vendors in Northern Kentucky.

With the increased volume of temporary food inspections, as of April 1, the Health Department will require all temporary food establishment operators to submit their permit application and fee at least three business days prior to opening. Vendors who do not meet this requirement will not be able to operate at the event.

Previously, temporary food applications and permit fees could be submitted up until opening.

“This policy change is designed to improve service and promote public health,” said Lynne M. Saddler, MD, MPH, District Director of Health. “By having the administrative aspects of temporary food permits handled in advance, the Health Department’s inspectors in the field can focus entirely on food safety. This change enables us to better plan in advance to ensure that we have the appropriate number of staff providing the inspections in a more efficient and timely manner so that food service at fairs, festivals and other events can operate more smoothly.”

Temporary food permits allow vendors to operate for up to 14 days in one location. Items observed on a temporary food inspection include hand washing facilities, ability to maintain proper food temperatures, and pest/animal control measures. Fees for temporary food permits are set by the state and range from $50 to $100, depending on the length of operation.

“Our staff have been working for several months to educate both event planners and operators of temporary food establishments of the change in policy,” said Steve Divine, RS, Director of Environmental Health and Safety. “Outreach efforts have included letters to both event organizers and food booth operators, as well as information on the Health Department’s website and social media channels. As our inspectors interact with organizers and operators, we’re also educating them on the change.”

For more information on temporary food requirements and to view the application, please click here.