Itinerant Food Vendor Reciprocal Licensing
An itinerant food vendor can receive a license and be inspected by one local health jurisdiction and then be allowed to operate in another local health jurisdiction as long as the two local health departments have signed the reciprocal licensing/permitting agreement.
There are many local ordinances that are not covered by the agreement, such as fire, parking, zoning, building, and other required local permits. Itinerant food vendors shall receive proper local approvals prior to operating their business in towns where these other types of permits are required for itinerant food vending establishments. Advance notification may be required for local approvals.
Always contact the local municipality to determine what permits you need before arriving or planning to serve food there.
Model Itinerant Food Service Permit Application
Itinerant Vending Versus Temporary Event
County fairs, carnivals, music festivals, etc. are considered temporary events and are not covered by the reciprocal licensing/permitting agreement. Vendors must register with the event coordinator and get the necessary approvals for selling food at these events. If you aren't sure call the local health department of the town where the event is located.
Explanation of steps
- Check to see if your Local Health Department (LHDs) has signed on
- If yes check to see if your planning to operate in areas that have signed on
- Reach out to those LHDs
- Follow-up w/ other local agencies (police, fire marshal, zoning, etc.)
Point of Contact for Questions/Concerns
Specific questions about approvals and inspections should be directed to the local health department responsible for those items. General questions or concerns about the Itinerant Food Vendor Reciprocal Licensing MOU can be sent to the Food Protection Program email.
FAQ's for Local Health Departments
Where does it apply?