Environmental Health, Personal Health, Public Health Administration and WIC

Public Health and Legislative Building
Location - 314 W. Main Street (Rose Street Entrance)
Mail - P.O. Box 1753
Walla Walla, WA  99362

Contact Information
Phone  509.524.2650
Fax       509.524.2678

WIC Contact Information
Phone  509.524.2680
Fax       509.524.2681

Office Hours
Mon-Tue-Wed  8:00 - 5:00
Thurs   9:00 - 5:00
Fri  8:00 - 5:00
Closed 12:00 PM - 1:00 PM

Temporary Food Vendors


What is a Temporary Food Vendor?

Who Needs to get a Temporary permit?

Why is a permit necessary?

Where can I get a permit application?

What are the requirements to operate?

Food Workers

Booth Construction

Handwashing Station Setup

Temporary Food Booth Guidelines PDF




What is a Temporary Food Vendor?

A Temporary Food Establishment (WAC 246-215-131) is where a person prepares or sells foods with a fixed menu at a fixed location for (a) no more than 21 consecutive days in conjunction with a single event, such as a fair, or (b) no more than three days a week in conjunction with an approved, recurring event, such as a farmers market. (back to top)

Who Needs to Get a Temporary Permit?

All individuals or groups planning to hold events that serve food and are open to the public are required to obtain a permit. If you advertise (with newspaper, television or radio announcements, flyers, signs, banners or other means) to the public, you are required to get a permit.(back to top)

Why is a Permit Necessary?

Food service is serious business, as is preventing foodborne illnesses. A temporary permit is required by state law (WAC 246-215). The state food regulation states that all retail food establishments must have a valid permit conspicuously posted in the establishment. The temporary permit is issued after consultation with the health department. We will review your application to find ways to increase your efficiency and safety, and possibly limit your menu or preparation steps to protect public health.(back to top)

Where Can I Get a Permit Application?

You can download an application HERE, However to insure that your booth is set up properly and to make sure proper fees are paid you must talk to a Walla Walla County Environmental Health Specialist. To contact an Environmental Health Specialist please call 509.524.2650

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What Are the Requirements to Operate?

  1. Complete the temporary application. Return the completed application to our office at least 14 days before the event. Applications received 1-13 days before the event will be charged a late fee, as noted on the application.
  2. Have your application reviewed and approved by one of the health department’s Environmental Health Specialists.
  3. Pay the appropriate fee (the fee schedule is printed on the application).
  4. Make sure at least 1 person with a valid Washington State Food Worker Card is in the booth at all times.
  5. Post the permit in your booth.(back to top)


Food Handlers Card

At least one food worker with a valid Washington State Food Worker Card must be in the booth at all times. The card, or a legible photocopy, must be posted in the booth. For information about obtaining a food handler card click HERE. You can take the food handlers test online by clicking HERE.

Employee Health

Any person with a communicable disease, such as with diarrhea, vomiting, or a fever; or with open sores or infected cuts on their hands, may NOT work in any food establishment.


All employees must wash their hands after:

  • going to the restroom (food workers are required to wash hands twice after using the restroom - once in the bathroom and again in the kitchen area)
  • handling raw meat
  • handling garbage
  • touching the eyes, nose, mouth, face or hair
  • taking a break
  • eating, drinking or smoking
  • taking off or putting on gloves
  • any time the hands become dirty


Eating, smoking and drinking are not allowed in the food preparation areas. All unauthorized people must stay out of the food preparation areas. Animals (including service animals) are not permitted in the food preparation area.(back to top)


On-Site Preparation

ALL FOOD PREPARATION must be done in the booth or in an approved kitchen facility.  Approval must be granted by the health department in advance.


All food preparation and storage areas must have a weather-proof, overhead cover. Lights must have safety shields to prevent food contamination from broken glass. Food contact surfaces must be smooth and easily-cleanable. Flooring should limit mud and dust.

Public Access

All food preparation and storage must be done toward the back of the booth or otherwise protected from public contamination. When using a grill or hot oil, the equipment must be separated from the public by at least 4 feet to protect people from burns.

Access to Employee Bathrooms

All food booths must be within 200 feet of a restroom with handwashing facilities including warm (back to top)

Example of a Temporary Food Booth Layout


Handwashing Station Set Up

All temporary food booths must have at least 1 handwash facility available for employee use. The handwash facility must be set-up before food preparation begins.(back to top)

The handwash facility MUST have at least:

  • a 5-gallon, insulated container with a continuous-flow spigot with warm water
  • pump soap
  • paper towels
  • catch bucket (to catch the dirty water)
  • Garbage can for disposal of paper towels


 Updated: 8/1/2012