Retail mobile food handlers sell food directly to the end consumer from temporary stands or mobile locations. Prior to commencing operation you will need to work with your inspector to ensure that the mobile unit meets the Minnesota Food Code requirements so that food is stored, prepared and held in a safe manner. There are several different types of retail mobile operations that have different licensing and regulatory requirements. Your inspector will help you obtain the type of license that best suits your needs. The licensing period for all Retail Mobile Food Handler licenses are from April 1st to March 31st the following year.
Retail Mobile Food Handler Types
- Mobile Food Unit - This type of business operates 21 days or less in one location and can produce food on site within an enclosed, moveable space. A plan review is required prior to licensing.
- Seasonal Temporary Food Stand - This type of business operates 21 days or less in one location and can produce food on site with protection from weather and contamination. A plan review is required prior to licensing.
- Retail Food Vehicle/Portable Structure or Cart - This type of business operates up to 365 days per year and can sell prepackaged food or raw produce only. A plan review is not required for this license.
- Special Event Food Stand - This type of business operates up to 10 days per year and can produce food on site or sell prepackaged food. A plan review is not required for this license. You can now apply for a Special Event Food Stand online!
- Food Cart - This type of business is a food and/or beverage service establishment that is a non-motorized vehicle that is self-propelled by the operator. A plan review is required prior to licensing.
Retail mobile stands are inspected by the Retail Food Program within the Food and Feed Safety Division. Some stands are also inspected and regulated by local public health agencies and the Minnesota Department of Health. If you operate solely within one of the following jurisdictions, please contact the delegated agency assigned to that area (see below).
- Hennepin County Environmental Health Department
- Ramsey County Environmental Health Department
- Minneapolis Health Department
- Minnetonka Environmental Health Department
- Brooklyn Park Public Health Department
- St. Cloud Health & Inspections Department
- Bloomington Environmental Health Department
- University of Minnesota (all campuses and facilities)