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Food Safety: FAQ - Temporary Events

Am I a non-profit if I donate all proceeds to a non-profit organization? 
Maybe.  You would be considered non-profit as long who you are donating to is a licensed 501-C-3 and they are aware that you are going to be holding the event for them (meaning you cannot hold an event for Non-Profit A, if they do not know you are holding the event for them).  You would not be considered a non-profit if you were holding the event to send someone abroad, to pay for their medical bills, etc.  In that case you are considered to be licensable and thus would need to obtain a Retail Food Establishment License.

What is the difference between a Mobile Retail Food License and a Temporary Retail Food License? 
The main difference between the two is that mobile establishments have to meet more stringent guidelines as they may be operational all year round, whereas a temporary booth may only set up for one event for one day each year- thus the lower standards for them-especially concerning equipment.  In addition, mobile units are allowed to operate at multiple locations, whereas the temporary booth may only set up as part of an organized event (a temporary vendor cannot sell 5 days a week on the corner for example).

Why do licensed Retail Food Establishments have to pay for an additional license?
The food license that you obtained is good for your restaurant only.  Once operations occur outside the premises (not including the patio), a separate license is required due to the fact that the operations can be completely different than what occurs at the restaurant. In the past Weld County did not charge for an additional license, but could have.  We have implemented this policy to conform with what most other Counties are already doing. 

What is the fee for a Temporary Food Establishment License?
The license fee will either be $115.00 or $255.00.  The fee will be $115.00 if you serve items such as pre-wrapped burritos, or ice cream bars in the package.  If you are serving items that will need to be handled or prepared on site then the license fee will be $255.00. (Note: if you have multiple booths and/or units- each unit/booth will need to obtain a license)

Do I have to get a new license for each event or will one license cover me for the year?
Only one license will need to be obtained for the calendar year.  Please note that if you want to obtain a Temporary Retail Food Establishment license that the completed application must be submitted at least 21 days in advance of the event or you will not be approved for that event.

When should vendor applications be submitted?
An application for a temporary food establishment must submitted at
least 21 days in advance. If you are a licensed temporary event vendor or licensed mobile unit then applications need to be submitted at least 14 days prior.  (Note: Incomplete applications may prevent you from operating at a temporary event.)

When should Coordinator Applications be submitted?
Coordinator applications must be submitted at least 30 days prior to the event.  A final list of vendors should be submitted at least 14 days prior to the event.    

Is sterno allowed?
No, all equipment must be able to maintain a constant heat/cold source, through means such as electricity, propane, generator, etc.

Can I prepare food products at home?
No- for licensed facilities.
A licensed facility, as per the regulation, cannot make any food product for sale at their home residence. The facility must use a commissary, or cook the food product on site. 
Yes for Non-Profits, but Strongly Discouraged. Non-profits are not licensable, and so do not have to prepare food at a licensed commissary. The Health Department strongly recommends that the Non-profit try and find a kitchen other than home to make the food product (such as a church kitchen, community center, etc..).

Does a Non-Profit have to obtain a Retail Food Establishment License?
No, Non-Profits (as defined by the State Department of Revenue, or a 501-C-3) do not need to obtain a Retail Food Establishment License. However, they must still submit a vendor application prior to setting up at a Temporary Event.

What do I need to do if I am a Non-Profit and have an Event inside/outside my facility?
In this case we do not require any information to be submitted, but do recommend that you obtain of Temporary Event Brochure (on this web site) and follow along with everything stated in the brochure.

What do I need to do if I am a Non-Profit and have an event at a location other than my facility and other than a scheduled temporary event?
In this case the Health Department requires you to fill out a vendor application and submit that to the Health Department.  Since the event is being held off your physical premises, people buying food product may not realize where that food is coming from. If there were to be any illnesses associated with an event, finding a cause would be greatly simplified if the Health Department knows which food was sold and who was selling it.

Do I need a license if I am only selling prepackaged foods?
Maybe. If you are selling non-potentially hazardous foods then no, you do not need a license (foods such as bottled soda, candy bars, bagged chips).  If you are selling potentially hazardous prepackage items then yes, you will need a Retail Food Establishment License (such as prepackaged ice cream, wrapped burritos, etc..). Contact the WCDPHE if you are unsure of whether your food would be considered potentially hazardous at 970-304-6415.

Chili Cook Offs: What is and isn't allowed?
Chili cook offs come in many different types and sizes.  If the food that is being prepared is for the judges only, then no license is required.  If the food is being given away in samples and there was not a charge for it (such as $20 at the gate- then all the samples you want) then no license is required. (Note: what does a sample mean? It means you are giving the food away in small portions (like in a Dixie cup) and it is not meant as a meal) If the food being prepared and sold by the bowl, then a license would be required. In any case, the event coordinator should contact the Weld County Department of Public Health and Environment.

If I roast chilies do I need a license?
Yes, chili roasting requires that you obtain a Retail Food Establishment License.

If I am a Licensed Mobile unit do I need to fill out a Temporary Event Vendor Application?
Yes.  Mobile units are required to fill out a Vendor Application. If you are a licensed unit in Weld County the form has been shortened greatly.  If you are a licensed unit from another county in the state then you need to fill out the standard vendor application. Please note that if you are serving separate from your mobile unit (meaning that you set up a tent instead of using your mobile unit), then you will be required to obtain an additional license.

What is and isn’t allowed to be sold at Farmers Markets?
If you are selling whole, uncut produce then you do not need a Retail Food Establishment License.  If you are going to be selling produce by the slice, or any other potentially hazardous foods (such as prepackaged ice cream, wrapped burritos, cream pies, etc.)  then you need to obtain a Retail Food Establishment License. (Note: Vendors may provide samples of their food product as long as it is done in a clean and sanitary manner- license not required for samples)

When will a license be issued?
During a temporary event, a license will be issued once the booth is observed to be set up correctly and all required paper work has been received. In most cases the license will be issued in the field at time of inspection.

What is required for proper hand washing set up at a temporary event? 
At a minimum the following is required: 

  1. Soap
  2. Paper Towels
  3. A container with warm water that has a constant flow spigot (not the button style). 

Is bare hand contact with ready to eat foods allowed?
No.  You may not contact any ready to eat foods with your bare hands.  You must use gloves, tongs, deli tissue, or other approved means in order not to contact ready to eat foods with you bare hands.  (What is a ready to eat food: foods that will not go through another cook step.  Examples: sandwiches, cheese for the hamburger, bread, sliced fruit, etc)

If I have a temporary event license, can I sell at Farmers' Markets or Corn Mazes?
No, Farmers' Markets and Corn Mazes  do not meet the definition of a temporary event. Only a licensed mobile unit may sell at these venues.

Contact Information

Weld County Department of Public Health and Environment: Environmental Health Services
1555 N. 17th Ave
Greeley, CO 80631
phone:(970) 304-6415