Temporary Food Licenses

A Temporary Food Service Permit (PDF) is required for food service at 1-time events or celebrations that are open to the public. These permits are good for 21 consecutive days at the same location and for the same event, and are required even when the organization is a non-profit organization. The permit is required whether or not payment is received for the food served. For current cost call 509-249-6508 or email us.

Who Needs to Get a Temporary Food Permit?
Individuals or groups planning to hold events that are open to the public must obtain a permit. The Yakima Health District requires that a temporary food permit be purchased for each food booth operating during an event (no “blanket” permits). If you advertise your event with flyers, banners, newspaper articles, or by other means, it is considered a public event. Church dinners or other club events that are for members and their guests only and are not advertised are not considered to be public events. Private weddings or other private parties that do their own food preparation do not require a permit. If you hire a caterer, he/she must have a license to prepare the food in a licensed kitchen. Ask to see their caterer’s license.

Providing Samples at Your Booth
Preparation must be done behind the service counter and must be kept at a minimum such as slicing or cutting for samples. All food samples must be protected from contamination from people and the environment by use of sneeze guards. Plastic wrap, dome lids, or portable fixtures may be used as sneeze guards. All samples must be dispensed individually in disposable containers or use disposable utensils. For example, honey can be dispensed from a squeeze bottle directly to a disposable spoon and handed to the customer. Use of open “community” containers not supplied with sneeze guard protection or utensils for service is not sanitary and is not allowed.

Read the Washington Administrative Code regarding temporary food service, WAC 246-215-190.

Some Events Requiring Permits

These events are only examples. If you are unsure if you need a permit, call the Environmental Health Help Desk at 509-249-6508.
  • Church bazaars
  • Community celebrations
  • Fair, carnival, or circus
  • Festivals
  • Fundraisers
  • Holiday craft fairs
  • Public exhibitions
  • Sports events
When Should the Application Be Turned In?
We recommend the application be returned with the fee a 2 weeks before the event. This allows time for the Health District staff to review the application and arrange any changes necessary well in advance of the event. You are urged to apply for a permit as early as possible. No permits will be issued on site and booths without permits will be required to close.

Exempt Food Items
There are a few foods that can be sold in Yakima County without a Yakima Health District permit. These foods are exempt because they are not sources for bacterial growth and generally are not involved in the spread of food borne illness. It is still important that all people involved in the production and sale of these foods maintain good personal hygiene (washing hands, using clean equipment) to ensure a safe food product. Please have all food workers read and sign the Requirements for Operation. Please contact the health district to verify if your food item fall within the exempt food list.