By Kiah Munroe, EHS3
This time last year, Cobb County Temporary Event season was in full swing! Unfortunately, due to the current COVID-19 pandemic, this is not the case. The spread of this virus has led to the suspension of events statewide due to social distancing requirements. As plans for events are beginning again, this is the perfect time to outline and discuss changes in procedures and processes for temporary events in Cobb County. It is hoped that the time taken by potential vendors and organizers will help to ensure that they have all necessary items to run a booth or station safely and efficiently. This post will discuss changes in the application process, outline requirements for setup, as well as provide some helpful tips to all interested in temporary food events.
Organizers are required to submit an Organizers Application 30 days prior to the event. Applications must be completed entirely and can be found here. Organizers must also submit a list of vendors that will be participating in the event. It is the responsibility of the organizer to ensure that only vendors permitted by the department will be allowed to participate in the event. Any vendor found to be participating without permission from the department must be ordered by the organizer to leave the premises of the event.
Vendors must submit applications, as well. That application can be found here. These applications must be submitted no less than 21 days prior to the event. One may ask, “what if we have changes?” or “what if a vendor cancels?”. Cobb County will allow the swapping of vendors for new vendors, up until 1 week prior to the day of the event. Due to the short time frame, swaps at this point may only be a permitted Cobb County food truck. You can find a list of Cobb County permitted trucks here.
It is the responsibility of the organizer to ensure that there are enough portable sanitation units available, if central restrooms are unavailable. You can find more information on portable sanitation units for special events here and a list of state certified service providers here.
The following is required for temporary food setup in Cobb County:
- At least one hand washing station, equipped with warm potable water (via a spigot that allows for a continuous flow of water), soap, and paper towels.
- A station for washing, rinsing, and sanitizing dishes utensils and surfaces. A test kit or testing device must accompany sanitizer.
- Hot holding equipment (if serving hot foods) capable of holding product at 135°F or higher.
- Cold holding equipment capable of holding time and temperature controlled for safety (TCS) foods at 41°F or below.
- Gloves, tongs, utensils, or deli paper to avoid bare hand contact with Ready-To-Eat (RTE) foods.
For more information, and to ensure readiness, please see and use this checklist here to prepare for a temporary food service event in Cobb County.
Food preparation may be done only in permitted kitchens/locations. Foods found to be prepared in unapproved locations are subject to being discarded. Limited food prep may be done on site.
- Fresh produce must be pre-washed/precut OR washed and cut in permitted location only.
- Hair of food handlers must be effectively restrained.
- It is important to take proper measures to maintain hot or cold temperatures during the transport of food to the event site, as it may be difficult to warm or cool product on site.
- Raw animal product must always be stored separate from Ready-To-Eat (RTE) or cooked foods.
- Calibrated thermometers must be on hand to measure the internal temperature of TCS foods.
- Physical barriers (covers, hoods, mesh netting) are required to protect foods from contamination and/or the elements.
- There must always be a designated Person-In-Charge to oversee operations as well as answer questions about food safety during operation.
We look forward to the commencing of the temporary event season. Should you have further questions, please visit our website at www.cobbanddouglaspublichealth.com or contact our Temporary Food Service & Seasonal Events Coordinator, Kim Brown at Kimberly.M.Brown@dph.ga.gov.
In the meantime, please stay safe and healthy!