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Temporary Food Establishments

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Food Sales at Festivals

For more information contact:

Lisa Morgan at 919 545-8309

Kristin Allen at 919-545-8377

Festival Pic




Festivals selling food to the public, event coordinators must complete an Event Coordinator application. 


All food vendors are required to submit an application to the health department.


Sell potentially hazardous foods such as meats, cooked vegetables or cut melons at a public event for pay will be required to submit a TFE food vendor application by 4:00pm 15 calendar days prior to the event and pay a $75.00 fee to obtain a Temporary Food Event permit. This permit is issued in conjunction with a fair, carnival, circus, public exhibition or other similar public gatherings that operate for a period of 15 days or less.

For profit Vendor-Food Temporary Food permit Application

Guidelines for obtaining a Temporary Food Permit


*Note-State Law requires that all Temporary Food Event applications and $75.00 fee must be submitted to the health department 15 days prior to the event.


Non-profit food vendors are exempt due to the 501c3 tax exemption status such as churches, civic and political organizations. Proof of this status is required. Proof of status may include a copy of the 501c3 Letter of Determination or a letter from the organization stating that 100% of food sale proceeds will go back to the non-profit organization. Non-profit groups are allowed by NC General Statutes to prepare and sell food for up to 2 consecutive days per month without regulation. Complete this Exemption application and return to the health department.


Exemption - Foods vendors- who sell popcorn, funnel cakes, Italian ice, ice cream, cotton candy, candied apples, baked goods, cookies, pies, breads, etc. are exempt from TFE regulations. However, exempt food vendors must complete Exemption application and return to the health department.


Individually packaged foods from a permitted food service establishment are exempt from Temporary Food Event permit. Vendors who sell items that are prepared and individually packaged at a permitted food service establishment are not required to have a TFE permit.


Mobile food units that hold a foodservice permit and return to the commissary daily are exempt from a temporary food regulations. Exempt food vendors must complete Exemption application and return to the health department. Documentation of the most current foodservice inspection must be provided to the health department.