Temporary food establishments are mobile food units, food carts, seasonal permanent food stands, or seasonal temporary food stands that operate either on a limited basis or in a transient manner, moving from location to location. Temporary food establishments are commonly associated with, but not limited to, farmers markets, carnivals, county or city fairs, or any temporary event.

Another type of temporary food establishment is a Special Event Food Stand, which operates for no more than ten total days within a calendar year.

Which temporary food establishments does the Department of Agriculture license?

The MDA licenses any operation in which the primary business is selling food that is pre-packaged or consumed away from the location of sale. The MDA also licenses establishments that sell bakery items, such as mini doughnuts or funnel cakes, as well as popcorn, kettle corn, and snow cones.

What is required?

A plan review is required for any newly licensed or remodeled temporary food establishment. The plan review application, along with all of the associated documents, must be submitted to the MDA.

Required information includes the layout of all equipment, equipment specification sheets ("spec" sheets or "cut" sheets), finishes of the floor/walls/ceiling, water source, and a menu. You do not need to submit information in a section that does not apply to your operation. For example, if you do not have custom built cabinets, you do not need to fill that section out.

The key aspects of a temporary food establishment are the water source, water disposal, handsink, and warewashing sink. Water must come from an approved potable water system. If the water comes from a well, it must be tested and approved by the Minnesota Department of Health to be considered an approved water supply.

For more detailed information regarding the specific types of temporary food establishments please see the links below: