Temporary Food Service Safety Checklist

If you're a food vendor in Schenectady County, make sure that food safety is part of your menu. Follow this checklist to insure a safe, smooth temporary food event.

  • You must apply and secure a temporary food service permit from the Schenectady County Environmental Health Department before vending any food items within Schenectady County. A temporary food permit is valid for one event lasting 14 days or less and requires a $90.00 fee.
  • Only those foods that require limited preparation, such as quick cook and serve items, are allowed to be served at a temporary food event. (eg. sausage, hot dogs, hamburgers, etc.)
  • Proper temperature control is mandatory. All potentially hazardous foods (*see definition below) must be prepared, stored, transported and served at temperatures of 45 ° F or below for cold foods and 140 ° F or above for hot foods.
  • A metal stemmed, numerically scaled thermometer or thermocouple is required to check applicable food temperatures.
  • Foods must be protected from contamination at all times including preparation, storage and display to patrons. Set up your food booth to minimize patron contamination; prepare and cook towards the back of the booth and serve patrons from the front of the booth.
  • All ready to eat foods which will not be reheated must be prepared and served without bare hands contact. Suitable utensils and/or sanitary disposable gloves must be used for all ready to eat foods.
  • Ice must be from approved sources and made from potable water. Ice is to be properly bagged in single use wet strength plastic bags until the time of use. Foods may not be stored in undrained ice.
  • Single-service articles are to be furnished to patrons at all times during the temporary food event.
  • All food items, utensils, food equipment and single-service items must be stored at least six inches above ground level within your food booth.
  • If food operations are conducted at night, artificial light of at least 20 foot candles must be supplied.
  • All temporary food establishments must be equipped with hand washing facilities supplied with soap, potable water and disposable paper towels.
  • All sewage waste, including liquid waste, must be disposed of in a sanitary sewer, approved septic system or holding tank.
  • Adequate garbage containers with plastic liners must be supplied to all temporary food booths.
  • Floor surfaces in temporary food booths must be constructed of concrete, asphalt or other easily cleanable material. Dirt areas should be covered with cleanable wood platforms or duckboards.
  • Adequate ceilings of wood or canvas must be used to protect the food booth from the weather.
  • Foods must be protected from contamination, including maintenance of hot or cold temperatures at all times during transportation to the temporary event site.

A temporary summer festival or carnival can be safe and filled with fun and following the preceding rules is essential in making that happen.

* Note: “potentially hazardous food” means any food that consists in whole or in part of milk, eggs, meat, poultry, fish, shellfish, cooked potato and rice or foods that support the rapid growth of bacteria.






107 Nott Terrace
Schaffer Heights
Schenectady, NY 12308
(518) 386-2818