Temporary Event Food Stands

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Temporary Food Establishment- means a food establishment that operates for a period of no more than 14 consecutive days in conjunction with a single event.

  • An “event” is a significant occurrence or happening sponsored by a civic, a business, an educational, a government, a community, or a veterans’ organization, and may include athletic contests.

  • An “event” does not include a single store’s grand opening or sale.


Click on the Gray Tabs for additional information on:

Laws and Regulations
• Iowa Food Code and FDA Food Codes

Basic Requirements
• Information on the basic requirements of operating a Temporary Food Establishment in the State of Iowa

• Temporary Food Service Establishment license application

Food Manager Resources
• Guidance documents for running your Temporary Food Establishment

A Temporary Food Establishment License must be obtained from the appropriate Regulatory Authority.

  • Single event Temporary Food Establishment license applications  must be received at least 3 weekdays prior to the event for processing and approval.
    • A single event temporary food license is valid for an operational period of no more than 14 consecutive days in conjunction with one event.
  • Annual Temporary Food Establishment license applications must be received a minimum of 30 days prior to the first event for complete processing and approval.
    • An Annual Temporary Food Establishment License may be used at any event in the state of Iowa.
    • An Annual Temporary License allows operation and food vending for up to 14 consecutive days in conjunction with one event at a time.
    • Persons who operate simultaneously at more than one event within a county are required to have a separate license for each food stand.
    • **Annual Temporary Food License Applications not received, processed, and approved prior to operating will require a single event temporary food license until the annual license is approved and issued.
  • Event Registration License applications must be received from the Event (event coordinator, host, or responsible party putting on the event) a minimum of 60 days prior to the event.
    • An Event Registration license is not required for an event having 10 or fewer temporary food vendors, a fair (as defined in Iowa Code section 174.1, such as a county or state fair), or a farmers market.
  • Event Coordinator Questionnaire must be received from the Event (event coordinator, host, or responsible party putting on the event) a of 2 weeks prior to an event which has 10 or fewer temporary food vendors.  There is no fee associated with this questionnaire.
  • All License Applications must be filled out completely.  Applications not filled out properly will be returned and will delay the processing and approval times.
    • A separate license must be applied for at each location where food production, sales or service take place.
    • Temporary Food Establishment licenses are non-transferable between locations or ownership.
    • Penalty fees will be assessed if the application is not received, processed, approved, and issued prior to the event.
    • The approved license will be sent to the e-mail address provided.  If no e-mail address is available, the permit will be mailed (please plan accordingly).
    • The temporary food stand operator is responsible for printing their license and bringing it to the event where it must be displayed in the food stand within the public’s site.


 Please check the Regulatory Authorities map to determine the appropriate food inspection and licensing agency for your area.

Only individuals who will be operating a food establishment under the jurisdiction of the Department of Inspections, Appeals and Licensing (DIAL) should submit their license application and corresponding fee(s) to DIAL at the address below.  All other applicants should mail their license application and fees to their local regulatory authority.

Print and mail:


For information on License Application Fee Refunds click here:  IAC 481.30.3(2)

If your food establishment is licensed and inspected by the DIAL’s Food Safety Bureau, send your application and fee(s) to the address below:


Iowa Department of Inspections, Appeals, and Licensing

Food Safety Bureau

6200 Park Ave

Des Moines, IA 50321