Transient Food and Farmers' Market Vendors
We issue annual transient food and drink licenses to food vendors for special events. Events include:
- Sporting events
- Farmers’ markets
What is a Transient Food Stand?
A transient food stand serves food to the public at one location for no more than 14 consecutive days.
Food Safety Requirements
- Transient Food Stands Key Points: English / Spanish
- Example of Food Stand Layout
- Farmers’ Markets Factsheets
How to Get Your Transient Food Stand Licensed
- You can apply and pay for your annual Transient Food License online. If you are a new user, you will click "Register for an Account."
- You can also complete the application and pay by mail or in person:
- City of Madison Clerk's Office, 210 Martin Luther King Jr Blvd #103, Madison, WI 53703.
- Call us at (608) 242-6515 or email us before the event to discuss your food stand set up.
- Check with your local municipality for zoning, fire, and/or other local requirements.
- For questions, to get help completing this application in another language, or to contact a sanitarian, call Environmental Heath at (608) 242-6515 or email us.
- For events on the UW-Madison campus, contact UW Environmental Health & Safety for licensing.
- A non-profit food stand serving meals may operate up to three days within a calendar year. After three days, a license and payment is required.
- A non-profit food stand serving retail foods (non-meals) is allowed to operate up to twelve days per calendar year. After twelve days, a license and payment is required.
- For fee exempt days, non-profit groups must:
- Register by sending a Transient Food and Drink license application to LEadmin@publichealthmdc.com
- Follow safe food handling practices
- Food stands at youth sporting events, such as a little league game, that operate for the benefit of the youth sports team or program.
- Free food samples that meet these Guidelines
- Home bakers selling baked goods following DATCP Guidelines
Transient Food Licenses from Other Jurisdictions
- If you have a current transient food license from another jurisdiction, you can vend at Dane County events.
- Make sure to have the current license with you. If you can’t show your license, you may required to buy a transient food license from us.
Please note: Even with a license from another jurisdiction, you may be subject to an inspection.
Information for Event Coordinators
Event coordinators have an important role in assuring food safety. By working together, we will:
- Identify and resolve potential public health concerns before the event
- Make sure vendors complete their license application and pay fees.
- Educate vendors about food safety requirements.
- Provide a Health Department representative at vendor meeting(s) if requested.
Event coordinators must complete and send the following to us at least 14 days before the event:
Licensing & Permits
- Email: LEadmin@publichealthmdc.com
- Phone: (608) 242-6515
- Español: (608) 243-0380
Get Email Updates
Subscribe to the Temporary Food Operators email list.