Temporary Food Permits

When is a Temporary Food Permit Required?

A temporary food permit is required to be obtained when food/drinks are removed from packaging and handled and/or time/temperature control for safety food/beverages are being provided to the public regardless of a fee is charged or not.

Examples of when permits are required are family/organization food benefits, food fundraisers, cook offs that provide samples, and private or City sponsored events with food vendors.

If you're not sure if your event will require a food permit contact our office to speak to a sanitarian. 

Contact San Marcos Environmental Health with any questions at HealthInfo@sanmarcostx.gov or (512) 393-8444.

Permit Requirements

  • Food prepared or stored at home is prohibited.
  • A hand wash station must be provided which includes: a water container with a spigot, soap, paper towels, and a water catch bucket. See second handout below for an example.
  • Cold food must be held at 41 degrees F and hot food at 135 degrees F.
  • All food and beverages shall be stored, displayed, and served so as to be protected from contamination.
  • At least one person with a Food Handler certificate must be on site at all times.
  • If reusable utensils are used a three compartment dish wash station must be provided. See third hand out below for and example of what is required. 
  • Liquid waste must be disposed of properly and must not be discharged on the ground.
  • An outdoor temporary event must have a canopy or overhead covering. This covering must meet fire codes if stove tops, fryers, open grills, are under the canopy.

Temporary Food Permit for a Food Truck or Trailer

Any food truck or trailer that will be operating in San Marcos for a temporary event is required to pay for and pass a fire inspection prior to permit issuance. The truck or trailer must meet all San Marcos fire requirements regardless of what jurisdiction the unit may have been previously inspected in. Please see our Mobile Food Unit page for fire requirements and the propane pressure test form that must be completed and provided to the fire inspector if the unit utilizes propane http://sanmarcostx.gov/615/Mobile-Food-Units

Environmental Health requires that any temporary event be applied for 72 hours in advance of the event. Food trucks/trailers are strongly encouraged to apply and pay their permit fees at least one week in advance of the temporary event. This is due to limited scheduling availability. It is also recommended that fire inspections be scheduled as far in advance as possible so that corrections can be made should the unit fail inspection. Food trucks/trailers that do not have a passing fire inspection will not be allowed to operate at the temporary event and will be required to remove the unit from the premises.

Apply for a Temporary Food Permit

To apply for a temporary event food permit visit the Apply for or Renew a Food Permit page. Temporary events must be applied for 72 hours in advance of the event. When a special event has been planned for months or weeks in advance our department may require that all vendors submit their applications 30 days prior to the event..

**When applying for the food permit online insure that the jurisdiction selected is San Marcos not Hays County.

Special Event Permit

If the event that is planned will include street closures, expects a large group of people to attend, includes rides, or a variety of other items a special event permit application may need to be submitted to the Office of Emergency Management. This permit needs to be applied for at least 30 days in advance. A copy of the application is provided at the bottom of the page. Please note that this is a separate permit and additional food permit(s) will still need to be applied for through the Environmental Health Division. Any questions about special events can be directed to Rob Fitch at RFitch@sanmarcostx.gov or (512) 393-8482.