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Temporary & Cottage Food Service

Temporary Food Service

A temporary food service establishment is defined by the Illinois Department of Public Health Food Service Sanitation Code as a food service that operates at a location for not more than 14 consecutive days in conjunction with a single event or celebration.  Temporary foods can range in size and complexity from an ice cream social at a small church to a summer fundraising picnic for a local politician to the multiple vendors at the Tug Fest.

An event that is advertised regardless of whether or not an admission fee is charged is considered a public event and as such must meet health code requirements and be licensed.  Private events for members only or family gatherings are not subject to regulation.

The following documents are available for download by clicking on the document name:

Guidelines for Temporary Food Stands contains specific information on preparing for a temporary food event.

Application for Temporary Food Stands should be submitted to the Rock Island County Health Department Environmental Health Section at least two weeks before the event.  An inspector will review this information and contact you by phone to discuss planning for the event.

Illinois Department of Public Health Temporary Food Stand Safety Guidelines offers additional information.

License Fees:
$50  (pre-approved application)
$75  (day of event application)
$25  (pre-packaged, non-hazardous foods)

Questions:  309-558-2840

Cottage Food

Is it safe to buy food on Facebook?

Rock Island County is committed to helping, “food entrepreneurs with the opportunity to start small, test their products, and grow a customer base before deciding whether or not to scale into a commercial kitchen” (IDPH Cottage Food Guide 2022).

As defined in Illinois’s law, “Cottage Food Operation” means an operation conducted by a person who produces food or drink, other than foods and drinks listed as prohibited in the law, in a kitchen located in that person’s primary domestic residence or another appropriately designed and equipped kitchen on a farm for direct sale by the owner, a family member, or employee. In other words, a Cottage Food Operation is a home-based food business.

Cottage Food Operations Forms and Documents