An annual Temporary Food Service Establishment (TFSE) permit is required to sell or serve food at a fixed location for a temporary period of time. This requirement applies to selling or serving food from vending booths, stands, kiosks, vehicles or carts at special events.
Special events include events held on Department of Parks and Recreation property, as well as events held on public or private property. Examples of special events include street fairs, flea markets, carnivals, circuses, public exhibitions, advertising campaigns, business promotions, religious or fraternal organization functions, or transitory gatherings.
Food service establishments (FSEs) (e.g. restaurants) and some mobile food vending units with a valid permit issued by the NYC Department of Health (DOHMH) are not required to obtain a separate TFSE permit to operate at special events on a temporary basis. Mobile food vending units can only participate in events where their DOHMH permit is valid, otherwise, the operator must obtain a separate TFSE permit. A copy of the FSE's permit must be kept onsite at the temporary event and available upon inspection.
A TFSE permit is only valid when used in conjunction with an event that meets one or more of the following criteria:
- A single event with a one-time continuous duration of 14 days or less
- Recurring events that do not exceed 3 total days per week at the same location
- Multiple events at different locations occurring in the same week that do not occur at the same location, day or time, and which do not exceed three days in a given week.
The permit fee for most Temporary Food service Establishments in New York City is:
- *$70.00, plus $25.00 if you will manufacture a frozen dessert
COVID Emergency Announcement:
• A Temporary Food Service Establishment (TFSE) permit that expired on or after March 13, 2020 remains valid during the COVID-19 public health emergency. However, a permit holder may choose to obtain a new annual permit now.
• A TFSE permit that expired before March 13, 2020 is no longer valid. The permit holder must obtain a new annual permit.