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Temporary Food Stands

What is a temporary food stand? "A food establishment that operates for a period of no more than 14 consecutive days in conjunction with a single event or celebration." That means there should be some type of event or celebration; someone just can't set up a stand on the street corner and considers it a temporary food stand. Temporary food establishment requirements are set forth in the Iowa Administrative Code 481—31.12(137F). Some reminders of the requirements:

31.12(1) Personnel. Similar to the requirements of the Food Code (Person-in-Charge, Responsibility, Employee/Volunteer Health) with the addition of; "Every employee and volunteer must sign a logbook with the employee's or volunteer's name, address, telephone number and the date and hours worked. The logbook must be maintained for 30 days by the PIC and be made available to the department upon request."

31.12(2) Food handling and Service.

i. Approved Food Source. Something new for this year, which is in 31.1(10) "Nonprofit organizations that are licensed as temporary food establishments may serve non-potentially hazardous food from an unapproved source for the duration of the event." The best example of this would be if a church is going to have a licensed stand at a fair that would last anywhere from 2 days up to 14 consecutive days they could bring in fruit pies made in members' homes for the entirety of the event. Any cream-filled pies would have to be purchased from an approved source.

j. Leftovers. "Hot-held foods that are not used by the end of the day must be discarded." Temporary food stands cannot serve leftover foods that have been hot held from the previous day.

• 30.2(10A) Definitions. "Food Establishment does not include"

16. "Premises regularly used by a nonprofit organization which engages in the serving of food on the premises as long as the nonprofit organization does not exceed the following:"

  • "The nonprofit organization serves food no more than one day per calendar week and not on two or more consecutive days;"
  • "Twice per year, the nonprofit organization may serve food to the public for up to three consecutive days; and"
  • "The nonprofit organization may use the premises of another nonprofit organization not more than twice per year for one day to serve food."

In most cases city streets, parks, etc. are not considered "premises of another nonprofit organization"; they would be considered municipal property. The Iowa State Fairgrounds is not considered nonprofit so you may have to check your particular fairgrounds to determine if they are considered nonprofit status. If organizations, i.e. the pork producers or beef producers, are grilling for another organization on the other organization's premise, and the event is only one day there would be no license required. Also, remember a nonprofit group may operate up to three consecutive days twice per year on their own premises.

Last updated on Dec 13th, 2021.

Contact Information

Terri Daringer

Shelby County

Interim Director

1411 Industrial Parkway

Harlan, Iowa 51537

Phone: 712.755.2609

Fax: 712.755.2519

Email: tdaringer@shco.org


Office Hours 

Mon - Fri: 8 am - 4:30 pm 

Shelby County Courthouse
612 Court Street
Harlan, Iowa 51537