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.

Effective October 1, 2023, all food trucks (MVUs) equipped with propane, as well as MVUs using electric appliances that produce smoke or grease-laden vapors, will require an inspection from the Austin Fire Department before being allowed to work within Austin city limits. This includes local MVUs as well as MVUs visiting from outside of Austin that are applying for either temporary or annual Mobile Food Vending permits issued by Austin Public Health. MVUs operating without an inspection from the Austin Fire Department will be shut down, and a citation will be issued. Visit the AFD Mobile Vending webpage for more information.

All mobile vendors/trailers at special events are subject to a fire inspection, and food trucks may also require an on-site inspection.

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.

For all questions specific to Austin Fire Department requirements, please email AFDMobileVending@austintexas.gov.