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Temporary Food Establishments


What is a Temporary Food Establishment (TFE)?

FAQ's regarding TFEs (NEW)

Obtaining a TFE Permit

TFE Permitting Requirements (NEW)

Level 1 Menu Items

Exempt from Rules (NEW)

Exempt from Permit (NEW)

TFE Set-up and Operational Requirements


To contact the Food Safety Program:
Phone: 509-324-1560 ext. 2  Hours: M-F 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Email: foodsafetyprogram@srhd.org (applications, questions & concerns)


1.    What is a Temporary Food Establishment (TFE)?

  • A Temporary Food Establishment operates:
    • At a fixed location, with a fixed menu.
    • Not more than 21 consecutive days in conjunction with a single event or celebration such as the Spokane Interstate Fair or Pigout in the Park.
    • Not more than 3 days per week in conjunction with an approved, recurring, organized event such as a farmer’s market.
  • Examples of TFEs: food vendors at fairs, community events, farmer’s markets, craft shows, and sporting events; fundraisers by community organizations; food samplers and demonstrators at approved events.

2.    Obtaining a TFE Permit

  • Any person or group serving or distributing food in Spokane County must obtain approval or a permit to operate from the Spokane Regional Health District (SRHD).
  • Step 1 - Complete and return a TFE application (doc) (PDF version) at least 14 days in advance of the event. Submit a completed Commissary Agreement (doc) (PDF version) if you are operating in conjunction with an approved commissary.
  • Step 2 - Submit appropriate fees to SRHD. TFE permit fees are based on the menu items and food preparation steps. Contact the Food Safety Program:  Contact Us  to determine the correct permit category and fee.
  • Step 3 - Complete an interview with a food safety inspector. During the interview, the Person in Charge (PIC) must be able to answer detailed questions about food sources, food preparation steps, food service steps, TFE booth set-up and equipment, and temporary hand wash set ups.  Review Are You Ready to Operate (PDF) for TFE set-up and operational requirements.
  • TFE applications and fees (Fee Schedule) submitted less than 14 days before the event are charged a double permit fee. Applications submitted less than 3 days prior to the event may not be accepted or processed.

3.    Lower Risk TFE Menu Items

  • You may want to limit the foods you serve to Level 1 Menu Items (PDF) to lower your TFE permit fee. Menu items on the Lower Risk TFE list are less likely to make people sick from food borne illnesses.
  • See TFE application requirements above:  Obtaining a TFE Permit.

4.    Exempt from Rules vs. Exempt from Permit

  • Some food items may be exempt from regulations and other foods may be exempt from TFE permit but require application and review by SRHD. Exempt from Rules (PDF) Exempt from Permit (PDF)
  • Exempt from Rules food items: Contact SRHD Food Safety Program: Contact Us at least 2 weeks in advance of the event for review of food items, food service steps, and booth set-up in order to verify the exemption category.
  • Exempt from Permit food items require SRHD permission and approval.
    1. Operators must complete Exempt from Permit Application (PDF) and pay appropriate fee.  Food code regulations must be followed in order to ensure food is safely prepared and handled.
    2. Contact SRHD Food Safety Program: Contact Us at least 2 weeks in advance of the event for review of food items, food service steps, and booth set-up in order to verify the exemption category and to submit application and fee.

5.    TFE Set-up and Operational Requirements

Are You Ready to Operate? (PDF)

Temporary Hand Wash Station (PDF)

Resources for Non-SRHD Issued Permits (PDF)


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Back to Food Safety Program



Temporary Food Establishment



TFE Application (NEW)

TFE Application Instructions(NEW)

Exempt from Permit Application

Commissary Agreement




FAQ's regarding TFEs(NEW)

TFE: Are you ready to operate?

Fee Schedule(NEW)

Level 1 Menu Items

Exempt from Rules(NEW)

Exempt from Permit(NEW)

TFE Hand Wash Set-up

Hand Wash Sign

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August 18, 2017