What is a Temporary Food Establishment?
A Temporary Food Establishment (TFE) is a type of food establishment that operates for a period of no more than 14 consecutive days in conjunction with a single event or celebration, including carnivals, fairs, festivals, and other events. These establishments are distinguished from other classes of food establishments in the Food Regulations, such as mobile food establishments, caterers, and traditional restaurants.
How is a TFE different from other types of food establishments?
TFEs typically operate with limited resources (water, electricity, wastewater disposal) and for a short duration.
Unlike permanent facilities, TFEs operate with equipment staged beneath a tent or similar open-air cover.
TFEs are often seasonal in nature and may operate at a fixed location such as a farmers market, or at an event or celebration including but not limited to—festivals, community fairs, music venues, sporting events, and other public gatherings.
Do TFEs need to comply with the Certified Food Protection Manager (CFPM) requirement
As specified in the Virginia Food Regulations, by July 2018, food establishments (including TFEs) will need to have at least one employee with supervisory and management responsibility and the authority to direct and control food preparation and service who is a Certified Food Protection Manager (CFPM). A “Food Establishment” by definition includes a “temporary facility or location where consumption is on or off the premises.”
Food Vendors -- When do I need a permit?
If you are planning on operating at a temporary event, you are required to obtain the applicable permit from the Local Health Department prior to operation. The permit must be posted where it can easily be seen by the public. A TFE permit is valid only for the specified permit period (up to 12 months) and is not transferable from person to person.
If you hold a valid permanent VDH Food Establishment Permit (restaurant, caterer, mobile food establishment, etc.) and are interested in also operating at a temporary event, you do not need to obtain an additional permit so long as all food is prepared in accordance with the Board of Health Food Regulations. The local health department in which you operate your permanent establishment needs to be aware that you also plan to operate at a temporary event.