If you would like to sell food at a festival in Wake County you may need a temporary food establishment permit. Temporary Food Establishment (TFE) permits are issued to food and drink vendors that operate in conjunction with a fair, festival or other special events. The NC State Fair, Apex PeakFest and Raleigh First Night, for example, are events that qualify for a TFE permit. Examples of events that do not qualify for a TFE permit are yard sales, auctions, farmer's markets and flea markets. A TFE permit is good only for a specific event and expires at the end of the event.
Do all vendors need a permit?
Vendors who sell only dipped ice cream, popcorn, candied apples, cotton candy, funnel cakes, doughnuts, peanuts and commercially prepackaged chips and candy do not have to get an operational permit from this Department; however, vendors should contact the NC Department of Agriculture
at 919-733-7366 to determine if a permit is needed from them. Also nonprofit organizations, political committees and other organizations that are exempt from federal income tax may be exempt from needing a TFE permit.
Documentation of Exemption
Where can I find more information?
Wake County Temporary Food Establishment Web page
Temporary Food Establishments must comply with the North Carolina Administrative Code Governing the Sanitation of Restaurants and Other Foodhandling Establishments (15A NCAC 18A .2665–.2669) Temporary Food Service Establishment Rules.
For more information contact Laura Lerch