Temporary Event FAQs

Q: We are going to take part in a festival / fair- what do we need to do?

A: You will first need to contact the event organizer and become part of the festival or fair. You may then need to obtain a temporary food permit to operate in accordance with 410 IAC 7-24. If required to obtain a permit, you will also need to have a certified food handler at the event. The food handler certification must be recognized by the Conference for Food Protection.

Q: The temporary guidelines say only limited food preparation shall occur on site. What does this mean?

A: All food must come from an approved source; no home-prepared foods are allowed at a permitted food establishment. Only grilling, hot holding, cold holding, assembly and serving can be conducted at the event. A sandwich can be assembled or pizza can be assembled, cooked and sliced. Hot and cold holding of product is acceptable if proper guidelines are followed. All other food preparation such as chopping, mixing, thawing, making salads or egg rolls must occur in a permitted food establishment prior to the event. Items can be purchased pre-cut or pre-made and cooked and held at proper temperatures on site.

Q: What is a temporary hand washing station for a food vendor?

A: A temporary hand washing station must consist of, at least, running water, soap, paper towels, a discard bucket and trash can. If a sink is not available, a large thermos or container in which water is held for dispensing for hand washing can be used. The container must have a spout that allows the water to remain running without holding or pushing the dispensing mechanism. A container needs to be placed under the water container to catch the wastewater. As a food vendor you must provide this set up in your stand.

Q: We are participating in a temporary event and will have two stands. Do I need two permits?

A: Yes.

Q: Do I have to have a food handler certification to operate a temporary food establishment?

A: A food establishment shall have a certified food handler from an accredited program, as per 410 IAC 7-24. If the vendor serves foods on the exempt foods list, a food handler certification is not required. Exempt food items are precooked hot dogs & sausage products, popcorn or kettle corn, nachos with cheese, hot pretzels with sauce, heating and serving precooked foods, slushies, drinks or beverages, continental breakfast items such as rolls, coffee, juice, milk, cold cereal and cookies.

Please see this website for answers to certification questions:


Having a food handler certification does not make you exempt from obtaining a temporary food establishment permit.

Q: I am organizing an event where I will have food vendors. Is there anything I need to do?

A: As an organizer of an event at which temporary food establishments will be operating you need to inform your food vendors that a food permit is required for each stand. There is no state-wide permit nor a permit that transfers between counties.

Q: I am organizing a temporary event and am concerned about providing water to vendors.

A: The organizer is responsible for providing one location, at the event site, for the food vendors to obtain water for hand washing, utensil washing, and sanitizer.

Q: What does a temporary handwashing set-up look like?

A: It will have a free-flowing water source, soap, paper towels, and a basin to catch the used water.

Q: What does a temporary dishwashing set-up look like?

A: It will have 3 basins or buckets: one each for washing, rinsing and sanitizing, as well as an area for air-drying the dishes/utensils.

Also See: Requirements for Temporary Food Establishments