Temporary Food Permits

When is a Temporary Food Permit Required?

A temporary food permit is required to be obtained when food/drinks are removed from packaging and handled and/or time/temperature control for safety food/beverages are being provided to the public regardless of a fee is charged or not.

Examples of when permits are required are family/organization food benefits, food fundraisers, cook offs that provide samples, and private or City sponsored events with food vendors.

If you're not sure if your event will require a food permit contact our office to speak to a sanitarian.

If the event that is planned will include street closures, expects a large group of people to attend, includes rides, or a variety of other items a special event permit application may need to be submitted to the fire marshal's office. This permit needs to be applied for at least 30 days in advance. A copy of the application is provided below. Any questions about special events can be directed to fire_marshal@sanmarcostx.gov or (512) 805-2600.   


Permit Requirements

  • Food prepared or stored at home is prohibited.
  • A hand wash station must be provided which includes: a water container with a spigot, soap, paper towels, and a water catch bucket. See second handout below for an example.
  • Cold food must be held at 41 degrees F and hot food at 135 degrees F.
  • All food and beverages shall be stored, displayed, and served so as to be protected from contamination.
  • At least one person with a Food Handler certificate must be on site at all times.
  • If reusable utensils are used a three compartment dish wash station must be provided. See third hand out below for and example of what is required. 
  • Liquid waste must be disposed of properly and must not be discharged on the ground.
  • An outdoor temporary event must have a canopy or overhead covering. This covering must meet fire codes if stove tops, fryers, open grills, are under the canopy.

To apply for a temporary event food permit visit the Apply for or Renew a Food Permit page. Temporary events must be applied for 72 hours in advance of the event.

Contact San Marcos Environmental Health with any questions at HealthInfo@sanmarcostx.gov or (512) 393-8444.