Food Service Temporary Events
Events like festivals and fairs are a fun way to meet with and serve food to the public. These transitory public gatherings that take place for a specific purpose or special event are called “temporary events.” Examples of temporary events include but are not limited to a fair, festival, exposition, show, concert, or other similar activity. These temporary events must have a start and stop date and cannot exceed 14 consecutive days. Food served at a temporary event is regulated by RIDOH. Learn more about the requirements for both event sponsors and food vendors.
RIDOH may limit and modify the nature of the food service operation and the type of food served at the temporary food establishment to protect the health and safety of the public. Temporary food establishment operations may be limited in terms of the number of individuals served, methods of preparation and storage, the kinds of utensils used, or the type of food served. When indicated by menu and/or food preparation, the temporary food establishment may need a manager certified in food safety.
To be able to serve food at a temporary event, you need a Mobile Food Service license. Complete the license application. An applicant shall submit an application for a permit at least 30 days in advance.
- Temporary food establishments shall be constructed and located to minimize the risk of food contamination from external sources including, but not limited to, sewage, flooding, dust, insects, and vermin.
- Outdoor open food operations shall have overhead protection unless otherwise specified by the local fire authority.
- Temporary food establishments may not be closer than 50 feet from any non-sewered toilets and/or animal pens. The 50 foot setback requirement may be waived by RIDOH if public health concerns are not compromised.
Sponsors of temporary events shall meet certain requirements to have food vendors. A sponsor form must be completed at least 30 days in advance of the event. The vendor list must be submitted at least two weeks before the event. Everything you need to know is in the Temporary Food Service Sponsor Requirements document.
All forms can be mailed or faxed to the Rhode Island Department of Health, Center for Food Protection.
Mailing Address: 3 Capitol Hill Providence, RI 02908 RM. 203
Fax Number: 401-222-4768
Temporary events can provide unique challenges to food safety. To ensure the health and safety of the public, there are special requirements for food service vendors at temporary events. Everything you need to know is in the
Temporary Food Service Vendor Requirements document .