Temporary Food Event Permit

Most festivals, parades, celebrations, and other special events feature food and/or drinks for sale or distribution. These are considered Temporary Food Events (TFE).

The City Code and the Texas Food Establishment Rules (TFER) provide guidelines for permitting and food safety standards for all food establishments. The Health Department has established procedures that can assist with the advanced planning and management of TFE.

Individuals or organizations are required to obtain a temporary food event permit for any event in which they are offering food for public consumption.

If you can answer “Yes” to any of the following questions, you will need to obtain a Temporary Food Event permit (pdf).

  • Is the general public invited to the event?
  • Can a person other than a member of the organization and their family members or invited guests attend?
  • Have you advertised the event or sold tickets to the general public?
  • Are you serving open food, open container drinks (mixed drinks w/ ice, wine, or keg beer), or food that requires refrigeration or to be held hot?

If you have additional questions, contact the APH Environmental Health Services Division at 512-978-0300.

Food Truck Permit & Inspection

If you are providing consumables to the public from a wheeled unit (including but not limited to an ice chest, vehicle, bike, pushcart, and trailer), then you need a permit.

Food trucks must operate under a valid City of Austin and/or Travis County Mobile Vending permit (pdf) in accordance with all of the rules and regulations of the Public Health. Food truck operators may not expand operations to areas outside of the mobile food establishment.

If you plan to have a food truck at your event and you already have a mobile food permit, you are not required to obtain additional health permits. It is your responsibility to ensure those food trucks have the proper permits onsite.

Familiarize yourself with the AFD Mobile Food Vending Checklist (pdf) (Spanish (pdf)). All mobile vendors/trailers at special events are subject to a fire inspection; food trucks may require an onsite fire inspection as well.

Additionally, the permit issued by Austin Public Health doesn’t allow for vending on the right-of-way (parking space, sidewalk, and/or street). A ROWMAN (Right-of-Way Management Approval Network) Permit from the Austin Transportation Department is required for food truck vending in the right-of-way.

Food trucks looking to temporarily operate in the Austin area and are not in compliance with the guidelines listed here must contact Austin Public Health’s Environmental Health Services division at 512-978-0300.