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Most King County offices will be closed on Thursday and Friday, Nov. 23-24, 2017, for the Thanksgiving holiday.  
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Supporting local farms is a key element of King County Executive Dow Constantine’s Local Food Initiative, which is designed to increase access to healthy food, better connect consumers to producers, and forge a more resilient farm-to-plate chain to counter the effects of climate change.

Permits are required for temporary food establishments selling food at farmers markets.

The type of temporary permit you get will be based on the complexity of the food you are serving and the food handling that occurs during your food service.

You may also choose to opt into an incentive based permit option. This enables you to attend multiple events for a lower cost if you are able to demonstrate and maintain good food safety practices.  Certified Booth Operator class completion and certificate is required for this option.

If you are a farmers market vendor selling produce in open-air markets or a market coordinator, download the items below as they pertain to your role.

Farmers Market coordinator's information

List of responsibilities, fees, types of food served at Farmers Markets, FAQs and more.

Considerations for getting a Farmers Market temporary food permit

Three levels of permits based on how complex your food will be:

  • Minimal food handling
    Packaged potentially hazardous food made under permit; no handling of unpackaged food — no sampling

  • Moderate food handling
    Unpackaged, potentially hazardous foods; includes sampling; not including raw animal products; reheating commercially made foods (USDA/WSDA); hot holding; no cooling

  • Complex food handling
    Food cooked from raw animal products; serving raw animal products; cooling steps -- any foods cooked and cooled in a prep-kitchen.

If one market or event, you should purchase a single event permit:

  • Submit an application and receive a permit for each market. Each permit is good for the entire market season.
  • Receive an inspection for each permit.
  • Minimal temporary food permit (single event)
    • No Certified Booth Operator required
    • Only prepackaged potentially hazardous foods are offered
      • All foods packaged
      • No sampling of unpackaged foods

  • Moderate temporary food permit (single event)
    • May apply for additional single permits at any time
    • No Certified Booth Operator required

  • Complex temporary food permit (single event)
    • May apply for additional single permits at any time
    • No Certified Booth Operator required

If more than one market, consider these options:

  • Minimal unlimited temporary food permit
    • Can attend unlimited number of markets and events until the end of the calendar year
    • Location information required for first event; notification not required for additional events
    • No Certified Booth Operator required
    • Only prepackaged potentially hazardous foods are offered
      • All foods packaged
      • No sampling of unpackaged foods

  • Multiple permit and unlimited permit - voluntary incentive program
    For moderate and complex food handling permits, consider a permit package that incentivizes safe food handling with reduced fees.  Multiple and unlimited permit packages are valid only for the calendar year in which they are purchased.

    • Multiple permit package - 5 events
      • Requires each business to have a Certified Booth Operator (additional food safety education), not required to be on-site during market or eventAllows attendance at up to 5 markets and events for the price of less than 3 single permits
      • This permit option available for moderate and complex food handling
      • Requires application with menu and location information for each event you attend
      • Will receive random inspections
      • One permit package can be used for both farmers markets and temporary events
      • Or buy single permits for each event or market with no Certified Booth Operator requirement

    • Unlimited permit package
      • Requires each business to have a Certified Booth Operator (additional food safety education), not required to be on-site during market or event
      • Allows unlimited market and event attendance for the price of less than 3 single event permits
      • This permit option available for moderate and complex food handling
      • Requires application with menu and location information for each event you attend
      • Will receive random inspections
      • One permit package can be used for both farmers markets and temporary events
This training is for those vendors participating in the voluntary incentive permit program. Multiple and unlimited moderate/complex permits require each business to have a Certified Booth Operator, not required to be on-site during market or event.

Course schedule (will be updated as courses are added):

Courses located in downtown Seattle at the Chinook Building, 401 – 5th Ave, Room 121 (ground floor), Seattle:

  • Wednesday, January 24, 2018 at 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm
  • Tuesday, March 6, 2018 at 9:00 am to 11:00 am
  • Tuesday April 10, 2018 at 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm
  • Tuesday, May 1, 2018 at 9:00 am to 11:00 am
  • Thursday, July 12, 2018 at 9:00 am to 11:00 am
  • Tuesday August 7, 2018 at 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm

Courses located in the Bellevue/Factoria area at Eastgate Public Health, 14350 SE Eastgate Way, Room A/B/C, Bellevue:

  • Thursday, February 8, 2018 at 9:00 am to 11:00 am
  • Thursday, June 14, 2018 at 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm
  • Thursday, Sept. 13, 2018 at 9:00 am to 11:00 am
Permit type Single Market Permit Multiple (5) Market Permits Unlimited Market Permits
Minimal $120 None $236
Moderate $290 $640* $750
Complex $350 $700* $850

*An incentive program based on food safety practices. Read more about this option above
*A certified booth operator is required. $95.00 course fee.

Farmers Market plan guide

Farmers Market permit applications

After you submit your application, you will be contacted about the status of approval. If you would like a hard copy of the application mailed to you, please call us at 206-263-9566.