Grand Forks Public Health Department


Health Information


Grand Forks Public Health Department > Health Information > Food Unit Guidelines

Mobile Food Unit Guidelines

Street fairs, civic celebration, business promotions, and other similar events call for temporary food service operations to be set up outdoors or in locations where keeping foods safe and sanitary becomes a real challenge. This 10 step guide will help to reduce the risk of a foodborne illness outbreak from occurring at your event.
  1. Planning: Be prepared to tell the department where you will hold the event, what you plan to serve, where the food will come from, how you will prepare and transport it, and the precautions you will take to prevent contamination.
  2. Menu: The preparation of potentially hazardous food is limited to hot dogs and polish sausages. Leftovers shall be discarded at the end of each day. A licensed restaurant may serve other foods if product temperatures, food protection, and sanitation requirements are met. All food and ice must be obtained from an approved source.
  3. Construction Requirements: All outdoor operations shall be fully enclosed, except for necessary service windows. Floors shall be constructed of tight wood, metal, or other cleanable materials kept in good repair. Walls and ceilings shall be made of wood, canvas, or other material that protects the interior from the weather and the entrance of insects. Doors shall be solid or screened and self-closing.
  4. Food Protection: All food items must be protected from contamination during preparation, cooking, display, and service. Condiments (ketchup, mustard, etc.) must be dispensed in individual packets or from a squeeze bottle or dispenser. Ice must be stored in a clean, drained, container. Ice scoops must be used to dispense ice. Ice used for cold food storage shall not be dispensed to the customer.
  5. Handwashing Facilities: Approved handwashing facilities must be provided. Minimum requirements are: clean warm water in a container with a faucet or spigot, paper towels, soap, and a container to catch the wastewater.
  6. Personal Hygiene: Only healthy workers are permitted to prepared and serve food. Persons with badly infected wounds, respiratory infections, nausea, diarrhea, etc., are not be allowed to work in the operation. All personnel handling food shall wear clean outer garments. Use of any form of tobacco is not allowed while working.
  7. Food Handling: Avoid hand contact with ready-to-serve foods and ice. Use disposable gloves, tongs, napkins, etc., whenever possible.
  8. Wastewater and Garbage: Wastewater shall be disposed of in a sanitary sewer. Wastewater may not be disposed of on the ground surface or in a storm sewer. Adequate wastebaskets and garbage cans must be provided.
  9. Wiping Cloths: Rinse and store wiping cloths in a bucket of sanitizer (i.e. one capful of bleach in one gallon of water). Change the solution every 2 hours.
  10. Licenses: City ordinance requires temporary food service operations to obtain a temporary restaurant license prior to operation. A temporary food service operation complying with the above guidelines shall be issued a license. The license is not transferable and is issued for a time not to exceed 14 consecutive days in one location.
These guidelines are intended to provide general information on operation of temporary food service establishments. The Health Department may impose additional requirements to protect against health hazards, may prohibit the sale of some or all potentially hazardous foods, and when no health hazard will result, may waive or modify these requirements.

Clean Hands For Clean Foods

It is important that staff be thoroughly instructed in the proper method of washing their hands. The following may serve as a guide:
  • Use soap and water.
  • Rub your hands vigorously as you wash them.
  • Wash ALL surfaces, including:
    • back of hands
    • wrists
    • between fingers
  • Rinse your hands well.
  • Dry hands with a paper towel.
  • Turn off the water using a paper towel instead of your bare hands.
  • Wash your hands in this fashion before you begin work and frequently during the day, especially after performing any of these activities:
    • Using the toilet
    • Smoking
    • Handling raw food
    • Handling soiled items
    • Coughing or sneezing
    • Scraping tableware
    • Touching hair, face, or body
    • Disposing of garbage