Temporary Food and Farmers' Market Vendors
Annual temporary food and drink licenses are issued to food vendors for special events. Examples include fairs, festivals, sporting events, or farmers’ market. A temporary food stand serves food to the public at one location for no more than 14 consecutive days.
Food Safety Requirements
- Temporary Food Stands Key Points: English, Spanish
- Example of Food Stand Layout
- Farmers’ Markets Factsheets
To alleviate some of the financial burden on our licensed establishments due to COVID-19, we have reverted our license fees back to 2019 rates effective April 2, 2020.
- See a timeline of the 2022 License Renewal Process: English / Español / 繁體中文
- Apply and pay Online for your annual Temporary Food License at City of Madison Licenses and Permits. If you are a new user, you will click "Register for an Account."
- Temporary Food License Application and fees are also accepted by mail or in person at the City of Madison Clerk's Office.
- Contact a Public Health Sanitarian at (608) 242-6515 or LEadmin@publichealthmdc.com prior to the event to discuss your food stand set up.
- Check with your local municipality for zoning, fire, and/or other local requirements.
- For events on the UW-Madison campus, contact UW Environmental Health & Safety for licensing.
- A non-profit food stand serving meals may operate up to three days within a calendar year. After three days, a license and payment will be required.
- A non-profit food stand serving retail foods (non-meals) are allowed to operate up to twelve days per calendar year. After twelve days, a license and payment will be required.
- For fee exempt days, non-profit groups must still register by submitting a Temporary Food and Drink license application to LEadmin@publichealthmdc.com and follow safe food handling practices.
- Food stands at youth sporting events, such as a little league game, that operate for the benefit of the youth sports team or program.
- Free food samples that meet these Guidelines
- Home bakers selling baked goods following DATCP Guidelines
Temporary Food Licenses from Other Jurisdictions
- Food vendors at special events with a current temporary or transient food license from another jurisdiction may vend at Dane County events.
- Make sure to have the current license with you to avoid having to purchase a temporary food license from our department.
Even with a non-Public Health Madison & Dane County license, you may still be subject to an inspection.
Event Coordinator Information
The event coordinator has an important role in assuring food safety. By working together, we will:
- Identify and resolve potential public health concerns before the event
- Ensure vendors complete their license application and pay fees.
- Educate vendors about food safety requirements.
- Provide Health Department representative at vendor meeting(s) if requested.