Temporary Food Events


Please take some time to read through our Frequently Asked Questions and remember to Avoid Food Poisoning, Don’t Eat From Unpermitted Vendors!   

Expand All | Collapse All

  • Event Permitting Guidance

    Temporary Event Food permits are required whenever food or beverages are sold or given away to the public. Examples of where food or beverages can be sold at a temporary food event include farmers markets, street fairs, festivals, musical and artistic presentations, sporting events, ethnic celebrations, and trade shows. Temporary Event Food permits for food/beverage sales are not  Community Event  permits. Community Events that have food or beverage sales may require both a Community Event Permit, for the event and a Temporary Event Organizer permit for the food/beverage sales.

    If you are organizing a Community Event that take places in  Unincorporated County of San Diego, please visit sdcountyCEP.org. Events that take place in  Incorporated County of San Diego, please contact your local city special event unit. All food/beverage sales or distribution during a Community Event will require a Temporary Event Food Permit.

    All food and beverage vendors, including existing restaurants, are required by law to obtain a Temporary Food Facility (TFF) permit prior to participating in a temporary event. Applications must be submitted at least 30 days prior to the event start date. Please note that applications received less than 14 days prior to an event start date or updated/modified within 14 days of the event are subject to an additional late application submittal fee. 


  • Application Resources

    The California Retail Food Code (CalCode) Chapters 10 (Mobile Food Facilities), 10.5 (Nonprofit Charitable Temporary Food Facilities), 11 (Temporary Food Facilities),11.5 (Cottage Food Operations), 12 (Certified Farmers Markets), and 12.7 (Fishermens’ Markets) provide the requirements for Temporary Events.

Expand All | Collapse All

  • Organizers
    • TFF Organizer permit is valid for one location only.
      • A single-event TFF organizer permit is valid for 1-4 consecutive days.
      • An annual TFF organizer permit can operate events throughout the year as long as they do not exceed 25 days in a 90-day period.
    • The Organizer is responsible for coordinating the event and is the direct liaison for communication with the Department of Environmental Health and Quality.
    • An updated Site Map must be submitted for each event. 
    • Utilize the Organizer Self Inspection Checklist to help prepare for the event.

  • Vendors
    • TFF Vendor permit is valid for one single food booth only. Separate permits are required for each booth.
      • A single-event TFF Vendor permit is valid for 1-4 consecutive days.
      • An annual TFF Vendor permit is valid throughout the year for approved events.
    • For single-event vendors operating at more than one event in San Diego County on the same day, each location must be permitted separately.
    • Unpackaged annual permit applications must include a Commissary Agreement Letter or Out of County Commissary Agreement Letter and evidence of a Food Safety Certificate. Out of County Commissary Agreement Letters may need to be accompanied with Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) regarding transport of food items to and from the event.
    • Prepackaged annual permit applications are required to submit a copy of their California Department of Public Health (CDPH) Processed Food Registration (PFR) when applying for a Temporary Event Vendor Annual Prepackaged Food Vendor Permit. Learn more about how to obtain a Processed Food Registration.
    • Learn about Vendor Requirements.
    • Utilize the Vendor Self Inspection Checklist to help prepare for the event.

  • New Permit Applicants
    • Determine which permit type is appropriate for your operations. 
    • Submit a completed application and the applicable fees. There are three payment options: pay online, mail a check, or make payment in person. Please make checks payable to “County of San Diego”. See “How to Submit Forms” section below.
    • Please note that late application fees will apply for applications received less than 14 days prior to the event start date or when fees are not paid in full within 5 days.
    • Health permits are issued by the Environmental Health Specialist at the event, at the commissary, or through the TFF Organizer.
    • Prepare for the event using the Vendor Self Inspection Checklist or Organizer Self Inspection Checklist.
    • Review the Watershed Protection Program Pollution Prevention Guidance Document. 

  • Existing Annual Permit Holders

How To Submit Forms:


5500 Overland Avenue Suite #170
San Diego, CA 92123
(8AM-12PM / 1PM-4PM)
Counters are closed 12PM-1PM


P.O. Box 129261
San Diego, CA 92112-9261
ATTN: FHD Temporary Events
(Allow 1 week extra to route through County mail)

Certified Farmers’ Markets

Certified Farmers’ Markets and Temporary Events presentation

Agriculture, Weights and Measures (AWM) has created a Self-Inspection Checklist for operators at Certified Farmers' Markets. More information can be found on the AWM's Resource page.


  (858) 505-6809