Temporary Food Events & Farmers Markets
A temporary food establishment is one that operates for a period of no more than 14 consecutive days in conjunction with a single event or celebration. Individuals, organizations and businesses selling or giving away food at special events (Festival of the Little Hills, parish picnics and community barbecues, for example) are required to obtain a temporary food license. In addition, some vendors at area farmers markets may need to obtain a food service license. Look up our FAQs about our farmer's market or temporary food establishments.
All food service vendors at public events are required to obtain a Temporary Food Event license, and each vendor is responsible for obtaining their own permit. Before applying for a Temporary Food Establishment License, applicants should determine:
- Who will be in charge of the booth (this person should obtain a Food Service Certificate)
- The complete menu - including ingredients, condiments and beverages
- The booth structure (whether provided by the event sponsor or the vendor)
- Methods for maintaining hot and cold product temperatures
- The equipment that will be required, including a hand-washing station
- How foods will be transported and stored
- Where and how clean-up of equipment will be done
Below are the fees to obtain a temporary food establishment license:
- New application $50*
- Expedited permit fee $60*
While local produce stands have delivered goods for centuries, today’s farmers markets are more complex. Along with the traditional whole produce available from farmers, markets now offer packaged foods; fresh meats, eggs, or cheeses; and home-made crafts. The Division of Environmental Health and Protection has evolved with this expansion of goods sold to protect the public from potentially hazardous foods.
If a vendor sells potentially hazardous goods at a location within St. Charles County, they must be inspected and permitted by sanitarians. Potentially hazardous goods are any foods that can support the rapid and progressive growth of harmful organisms.
A temporary food establishment or mobile food unit license IS REQUIRED for vendors at farmers markets who sell or give away:
- Meats - Product must also be USDA or Missouri Department of Agriculture certified, properly labeled and packaged, safely transported and held at required temperatures.
- Fish and fowl must be properly labeled, have all required state or federal permits and be transported and held at proper temperatures
A permit is not required for farmers market vendors who sell:
- Whole Uncut Produce (Fruits and Vegetables)
- Nuts in the shell
- Jams, Jellies, Apple Butter and Honey (As long as they’re properly labeled)
- Baked goods (as long as they do not include potentially hazardous products, are properly labeled and are sold by the person or farm that baked them)
- Whole Eggs (must have a Missouri Department of Agriculture Egg Permit and hold eggs at 45 degrees F or less)
- Cheese (Cheese must have been produced by the vendor, must be properly labeled, and must meet the refrigeration requirements for the type of cheese being sold.) Vendor must have a valid permit issued by the Missouri State Milk Board.
A commissary (PDF) refers to a food establishment that acts as a base of operations for a mobile food establishment, food vending establishment, temporary food establishment or seasonal food establishment. The commissary provides facilities for adequate storage of food, food containers or food supplies; equipment for adequate washing and sanitizing of food equipment and utensils; a servicing area for the sanitary disposal of liquid waste; for handling and disposal of garbage, grease and rubbish originating from the mobile food establishment; an adequate servicing area for washing and storage of the mobile food establishment; facilities for filling the potable water holding tank in a sanitary manner; and electrical outlets for establishments that require electrical service. All mobile food facilities require the use of a commissary!