The Arlington County Public Health Division, Environmental Health Program issues Temporary Food Establishment (TFE) Licenses for special events where food is served, such as fairs, pageants, and festivals.
Coordinating a Temporary Event
- If you are coordinating a large event with food or multiple food vendors, you must submit a Special Events Application. Information about the application process is available on the Special Events website.
- Once you submit your application, Environmental Health Program staff will contact you to discuss your plans for food and food vendors.
- If your event involves only one food vendor and a limited number of participants, you may not need to apply for a Special Events permit. However, you must still notify the Environmental Health Program at firstname.lastname@example.org or 703-228-7400 .
Selling Food at a Temporary Event
- Vendors selling food at a temporary event may need to apply for a license. In general, vendors are required to have a license if they serve anything besides prepackaged, non-perishable foods (e.g., granola bars, bags of chips).
- At least 10 days before the event, submit a Temporary Food Establishment Application and $40 fee (if applicable) in-person at 2110 Washington Blvd., Suite 350, Arlington, VA 22204. Make checks payable to the Arlington County Treasurer.
- Review the Quick Guide for Temporary Event Food Operations before submitting your application. A full set of guidelines is also available.
- Note: As of July 1, 2018, TFEs must have at least one employee with supervisory and management responsibility and the authority to direct and control food preparation and service who is a Certified Food Protection Manager (CFPM) (per 12VAC5-421-55 of the Virginia Food Regulations). Learn more about the CFPM requirement on the Virginia Department of Health webpage.