Guidelines for Temporary Food Facilities

The following guidelines are authorized by Section 8-104.1 (B) of the Columbia Food Code.


  • All temporary and seasonal food stands must have a current Columbia/Boone County Department of Public Health and Human Services Permit and City Business License. Temporary facilities require a separate permit for each event and location. The City business license is valid for a maximum of 14 days and must be obtained at the City Business License office located at 725 E. Broadway.


  • All food must be clean, wholesome, free from spoilage free from adulteration, and safe for human consumption.
  • All food must be from an approved source. All potentially hazardous foods (meats, cheeses, dairy products, fish, etc.) must be prepared on the site by a
    permitted operator or be prepared at another permitted facility. No foods prepared in a private home or an unpermitted facility may be used or sold in a temporary
    or seasonal facility.
  • All meats must be pre-formed or pre-cut.
  • All food used for temporary events should be purchased the day of the event, unless stored in an approved location, typically one that is inspected by PHHS. Storage in a home is not an option

Temperature Control of Foods :

  • All potentially hazardous foods must be kept below 41°F or above 140°F at all times. Pre-cooked foods must be re-heated to 165°F before serving. Equipment must be provided for maintaining these temperatures at all times.
  • Required internal cooking temperatures for potentially hazardous food are: ground beef-155?F, chicken-165°F, pork-145°F and beef-140°F.
  • Partial cooking of potentially hazardous foods is prohibited.
  • Metal stemmed dial-type thermometers accurate to within plus or minus 3°F must be provided to monitor these temperatures.
  • If time is used as a Public Health control, it must be stated in writing. Foods must be held no longer than 4 hours then promptly disposed of. The length of time foods are held may be required in written logs.

Ice and Refrigeration:

If ice is to be used for temperature control, the following criteria must be met:

  • Ice must be from an approved source.
  • The ice-holding container must be constructed of a non-porous material, with an attached lid.
  • Styrofoam coolers will not be approved.
  • Ice used for cooling food or beverages may not be used for human consumption.
  • Ice containers must be drained to prevent accumulation of water.
  • Foods must not be in direct contact with ice.
  • Mechanical refrigeration units must be clean and in good repair and must be capable of maintaining food temperatures to 41°F or below.

Water Supply :

  • A readily available supply of water from an approved source must be provided at all times to the event location.
  • A minimum of five gallons of water from an approved source must be kept at each operator site. This water must be stored in an approved covered container and poured from a dispensing spout.
  • In the case where hot water is not available to the site, a means of heating water must be provided by the operator. Coffee urns or hot plates are two possible
    choices for heating water.
  • When only pre-packaged food is sold a water supply requirement will be waived.

Cleaning and Sanitizing Equipment :

  • Adequate facilities must be set up for cleaning and sanitizing food contact surfaces such as cooking utensils, cutting boards, knives, etc. Three labeled containers of adequate volume must be utilized in the following manner:
    • Wash (hot, soapy water)
    • Rinse (clean water)
    • Sanitize (approved sanitizer & water)
  • An approved sanitizer must be on the site and used in the above manner at all times.


  • Hand washing facilities must be provided in all cases except where only pre-packaged foods are sold. Acceptable hand washing facilities include:
  • Soap and clean water drawn from a container equipped with a dispensing spigot that will supply water until shut off (No push buttons).
  • Single service towels must be provided for hand drying.
  • A method of providing hot water is encouraged.

Food Handling:

  • Bare hand contact with ready to eat food is prohibited.
  • Eating and drinking while on duty is prohibited.
  • Cross-contamination of cooked foods with raw, potentially hazardous foods through contact with equipment, utensils or hands must be prevented at all
  • The use of utensils such as tongs, forks, and spatulas is required to minimize hand contact with food.
  • Single-service articles/utensils may not be re-used.
  • All food products must be individually wrapped or covered to protect them from contamination.
  • Tobacco use is prohibited in any food preparation or service area.
  • Galvanized and chipped enamelware containers shall not be used for food storage or preparation.
  • All food must be properly stored off the floor or ground.
  • No person with a communicable disease or a carrier of a communicable disease may work in the facility.


  • All food wastes, soiled paper, etc. must be stored in a leak proof plastic or metal waste container with a tight-fitting lid.
  • Plastic bags with tie tops must be used in all cans where food debris will be deposited.
  • Refuse must be stored in a manner that will prevent insect and rodent problems.

Construction of Equipment :

  • All food contact surfaces must be smooth, easily cleanable, non-absorbent, and non-toxic. They must be durable and kept in good repair.
  • All other equipment must be constructed and maintained in a manner consistent with departmental standards.

Construction Of The Stand:

  • Overhead protection must be provided for all food preparation and food storage areas. Materials such as canvas, plastic or wood that protect the establishment from the weather may be approved. A site should be chosen which will minimize problems with dirt and dust.
  • The remainder of the stand must be constructed of material that allows easy cleaning.
  • When conditions are favorable for flies, fans must be positioned to prevent contamination of any exposed foods. Screening of the preparation area is strongly recommended to prevent insect access to preparation areas.


  • Each concession not supplied with a built-in waste system must provide a container (5 gallon minimum) with a tight-fitting lid for retention of all wash and cleaning water prior to disposal.
  • All wastewater must be disposed of in a sanitary sewer.
  • Adequate toilet facilities must be available.

Public Food Event VS Private Food Event

A permit from the Health Department is required for:

  • Any event open to the public where food is provided unless the exceptions below apply.

A permit from the Health Department is not required for:

  • An establishment that offers only prepackaged non-potentially hazardous foods (e.g. Individual sized bags of chips, canned soda, candy bars).
  • A produce stand that offers only whole, uncut fruits and vegetables.
  • A kitchen in a private home if only food that is non-potentially hazardous is prepared for sale or service as part of a not-for profit event. Examples include a religious or non-profit organization having a bake sale.
  • A closed event with only invited guests. The public must not be able to attend without invitation. Examples of closed events include religious gatherings involving members of a church, wedding parties, family reunions, or company picnics.
  • A private kitchen of a family day care facility, or a bed and breakfast facility limited to 4 bedrooms or less.