Temporary Food Establishment Food Protection Guidelines

The following documents must be conspicuously posted at a Temporary Food Establishment whenever it is in operation:

  • NYC Health Department Permit, or a receipt showing you have applied for and paid for a permit
  • Certificates of Registration
  • Food Protection Certificates


  • Wash your hands before starting work, and each time after contamination including coughing, sneezing or handling unclean items.  Prepackaged moist towelettes (containing alcohol as a base ingredient) may be used to cleanse hands in non-processing establishments.
  • Wash your hands with soap and water after using the toilet.

Food Protection and Storage

  • Never allow bare hands to come in contact with food that will not be cooked. Use clean sanitized utensils, deli paper, disposable gloves, etc.
  • Keep all foods covered or otherwise protected from outside contamination. Keep all food service equipment, utensils, and paper goods similarly protected from outside contamination.
  • Never store raw foods, especially poultry and meats above raw or uncooked foods, or sanitized equipment, or in a manner that will contaminate other foods.
  • Packaged food is not to be stored in contact with water or undrained ice. Use a mechanical refrigerator or dry ice. Wrapped sandwiches are not to be stored in direct contact with ice.
  • Use only single service dishes and utensils for service to patrons.  Handle single service eating utensils in a manner that prevents contamination of surfaces that come into contact with foods.
  • Store all food, food service equipment, utensils, and paper goods off the ground at all times.
  • Do not prepare foods if you are ill or have cuts or infections on your hands.
  • Do not smoke, eat or drink while working. Wear clean outer garments and effective hair restraints.

Food Preparation and Cooking Temperatures

  • Prepare foods as close to transport or service time as possible.
  • Cook poultry to at least 165°F (73.9°C).          
  • Cook pork or any food containing pork to at least 150°F (65.6°C).
  • Cook rare beef to at least 130°F (54.4°C).
  • Cook all other foods (except eggs) to at least 140°F (60°C).
  • Cook shell eggs or foods containing shell eggs to at least 145°F (62.8°C).
  • Reheat potentially hazardous hot foods to at least 165°F (73.9°C). 
  • Stir with a sanitized utensil.

Hot and Cold Holding

  • Do not use steam tables or other hot holding devices to reheat foods. Use them only for hot holding of foods.
  • Maintain all potentially hazardous hot foods at 140°F (60°C) or above.           
  • Maintain all potentially hazardous cold foods at 41°F (5°C) or below.
  • Use an appropriately scaled metal stem or thermocouple thermometer to evaluate food temperatures, during holding, cooking, storing or reheating.

Food Protection

  • Have a qualified supervisor for your establishment.
  • Do not sell shell fish unless you obtain a waiver from the NYC Department Health and Mental Hygiene.
  • Sanitize all food contact surfaces and equipment. Chemical sanitization solution may be prepared by mixing one tablespoon of bleach with each gallon of cool, potable water. Do not add soap or detergent to the water, because they reduce the effectiveness of the solution. Rinse wiping cloths frequently in the sanitizing solution.

Structures and Equipment

  • Ensure that the walls, base, floor and food contact surfaces are of sanitary construction, and made of non-corrosive, non-rusting metals. Surfaces must be waterproof, smooth, readily cleanable and resistant to dents and scratches.          
  • Provide proper waste receptacles. All waste receptacles must be vermin-proof and provided with tight-fitting lids.          
  • Enclose or guard cooking and serving surfaces to provide protection against air-borne contamination.          
  • Prevent accidental injury by contact with cooking devices. Shield cooking devices against possible contact with patrons.
  • Properly secure propane tanks. Tanks must be in an upright (vertical) position and provided with a base plate anchor as security against accidental toppling. The connection from fuel tank to burner must be of either a rigid metal tube or an approved, flexible metal tube; connections at fuel tanks and burners must be free of leaks.

Water Requirements

  • There are no sink or hot and cold water requirements for non-processing establishments; however, make available acceptable means of keeping hands clean (e.g., moist towelettes).
  • Provide an adequate supply of potable (drinkable) water for food preparation, cleaning and sanitizing equipment, and hand washing in processing establishments. 
  • Place waste water into a leak-proof container labeled "waste water" with a tight-fitting lid.