Select a language:
Carnival

 

How to Obtain a Temporary Food Facility Permit for your Event

TFF Video

 

 

 

Be sure to watch this short video if this is your first time applying for a Permit.

 

Why Do I Need a Temporary Food Facility Permit?  

All food vendors, including permitted restaurants and individual food providers, are required to apply for and obtain a Temporary Food Facility (TFF) Permit when providing food at a community event. This permit is required whether you are selling food or giving it away for free at the event. (The California Health and Safety Code, Sections 114381.2, 114387)  

A TFF permit is only valid for a single food booth, operating at a specific event, at a site-specific location for a specified period of time. If a vendor is operating more than one booth at an event, a permit must be obtained for each individual booth. Separate permit applications must be submitted. If a food vendor is operating at more than one event in Orange County on the same day, each location must also be permitted separately. These requirements APPLY to all permit types.  

Our main goal is to assist food service operators and event organizers to operate in a safe and sanitary manner by ensuring compliance with the requirements of the California Retail Food Code (Cal Code), Chapter 11 Cal Code Sections 114335 through 114363. Temporary Food Facilities must also meet all applicable requirements in Cal Code Chapters 1 to 8, inclusive, Chapter 10.5, and Chapter 13, unless specifically exempted. 

What is the legal definition of a Community Event? 

The California Health and Safety Code Section 113755 defines a Community Event as an event conducted for not more than 25 consecutive or nonconsecutive days in a 90-day period that is of civic, political, public, or educational in nature, including state and county fairs, city festivals, circuses, and other public gatherings approved by Environmental Health. 

When is an Event Organizer permit required and what are the Event Organizer’s responsibilities for food facilities? 

The California Health and Safety Code Section 114381.1 states that an organizer permit is required when two or more food vendors are participating in a community event.  

The organizer is responsible for the facilities shared by multiple food booths (i.e. restrooms, refuse containers, potable water supply, wastewater disposal facilities, and shared ware washing sinks.) 

How do I obtain an Event Organizer permit? 

Submit an Event Organizer application, a vendor list, and a site map at least a month in advance of the event to allow for review and processing time (state law requires at least two weeks prior to the event).  

Submit by email to EHSpecialEvents@ochca.com or in person at our office at 1241 E Dyer Rd, Suite 120, Santa Ana, CA 92705.  

Once the Event Organizer application is reviewed and approved, you will be notified to pay the permit fees. TFF vendors may apply for permits after the Event Organizer application is approved. To expedite the permit processing for the event, it is recommended that the Event Organizer submit all TFF application packets for the event. 

What is the definition of a Temporary Food Facility (TFF)? 

The California Health and Safety Code Section 114381.2 states that if you are operating a food facility at a community event you are defined as a Temporary Food Facility (TFF). All food vendors in this category are required to apply, meet requirements, and obtain a TFF permit prior to selling or giving away food at an event. 

How do I obtain a TFF permit? 

Once Environmental Health (EH) has approved an event application, TFF vendor applications and Operational Specification may be submitted by email to EHSpecialEvents@ochca.com or in person at the Environmental Health office located at 1241 E. Dyer Rd, Suite 120, Santa Ana, CA 92705.  

The TFF application packet should be submitted at least one month in advance of the event to allow EH time to review, process, and issue the permit and to arrange for appropriate staffing at the event.  

Once the permit application and supporting documentation are reviewed and approved, the Event Organizer and/or the TFF vendor will be notified to come to the EH office to pay the permit fee(s). Due to the number of application submittals this office receives daily, permit applications received less than 3 days prior to the event start date will be considered past due and may not be reviewed and approved in time for your event.  

Any person who operates a TFF without a permit shall be subject to the closure of the TFF and a penalty not to exceed three times the cost of the permit. 

Nonprofit Charitable Organizations participating in Community Events 

A nonprofit charitable organization (as defined in California Retail Food Code Section 113841) or an established school club or student organization that wants to sell or give away food at an approved community event lasting three (3) days or less, must obtain a health permit.   

A nonprofit charitable temporary food facility (TFF) may operate up to four (4) times per year without having to pay for a health permit. 

Nonprofit Charitable Organization TFFs must meet the same requirements as the For-Profit TFFs.  This includes obtaining a health permit, proper food booth setup, following employee hygiene practices, and following food safety procedures. 

Complete the TFF Application Packet and sign the bottom of the Operations Specification Sheet as required.  When submitting the completed TFF application, also include proof of nonprofit organization status. 

Rules For Any For-Profit Entities Giving or Selling Food for the Benefit of a Nonprofit Association at Community Events 

The California Retail Food Code (CRFC), Section 113789 (c) (4), allows for nonprofit exemptions at community events.  Specifically, this section exempts from regulation: “(113789) A for-profit entity that gives or sells food at an event that occurs not more than three days in a 90 day period for the benefit of a nonprofit association, if the for-profit entity receives no monetary benefit, other than that resulting from recognition from participating in an event.” 

Documents of Declaration must be completed by both the for-profit entities requesting exemption and the nonprofit association receiving the benefit.  These documents are to be submitted to this Agency to be considered for exemption. 

Read and complete the “Procedures and Exemption of For-Profit Entities Giving or Selling Food for the Benefit of a Nonprofit Association at Community Events” document. 


If you have further questions regarding Temporary Food Facilities and Community Events, please contact us by the following:

Phone: (714) 433-6080

E-mail: EHSpecialEvents@ochca.com

Special Events Documents

TFF Application Packet

Event Organizer Application Packet

Limited Term Agreement

Out of County Agreement
 

Fees

The Health Services Fees until June 30, 2023 are:

Type of Permit Single Event Recurring Event

Event Coordinator

$184.00

$184.00

Category I A & B (prepackaged food)

$66.00

$112.00

Category II (open food)

$127.00

$181.00