My restaurant serves food at several local events throughout the year. Can I obtain one health permit that would cover all these events?

At this time, blanket temporary food service establishment health permits that would cover an operator at multiple events are not allowed by NYS code.

NYS Sanitary Code Subpart 14-2 "Temporary Food Service Establishments" states that "A "temporary food service establishment" means a place...which operates at a fixed location in conjunction with a single event...of not more than 14...days duration"

Because of this code definition, each temporary FSE permit issued must be specific as to the event and dates for which it is valid, and can only cover up to 14 days total.

Questions have also arisen whether an annual catering permit is sufficient to serve food at a temporary event, and the answer is that a catering permit does not allow the holder to serve food to the general public at a temporary event.

A Caterer is defined by NYS Sanitary code as “…person who prepares, furnishes, or prepares and furnishes food intended for individual portion service at the premises of the consumer…”. Caterers are not allowed to sell (or give away) food directly to the general public under their catering permit-they are only allowed to provide individual portion service to the consumer (interpreted as the individual or group that hired them to provide food to a closed group) at a premises under the control and supervision of the consumer that hired them (like a private home or leased/rented location).

A possible option for an operator working at many events during a year and looking to control permit costs might be to develop a mobile food service establishment or pushcart that would qualify for an annual permit. These units must comply with the requirements of NYSSC 14-4, and must be operated in conjunction with a commissary. While the initial cost for the units themselves can be substantial, this type of annual permit allows these units to set up and serve to the general public at any appropriate location throughout the County (subject to local municipal zoning and vending ordinances) for the entire year.

Frequently Requested



Phone: (716) 858-7690

Fax: (716) 858-8701

Erie County Department of Health (ECDOH)
95 Franklin Street
Buffalo, New York 14202

ECDOH Locations