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Food safety at fairs and festivals – license requirements

With the broad epidemic orders being lifted July 1, the Western Upper Peninsula Health Department (WUPHD) anticipates many summer festivals, fairs, community events, and 4th of July celebrations to resume. WUPHD would like to take this time to remind event organizers that a temporary food license is required to serve food to the public at these events.

A temporary food service license is required in almost all instances where organizations and individuals serve food or drink to the public including festivals, community picnics, and religious, charitable, or fraternal organizations preparing food as part of a benefit or fundraiser. Temporary food licensing protects public health by ensuring food served to the public is properly stored, prepared, and served using safe food handling techniques. Michigan’s Food Law governs all food establishment licensing in Michigan. Licensing is required even if the organization is nonprofit and the food is provided free of charge.

Food license applications are available for pick up at all health department offices or can be found online at https://www.wupdhd.org/temporary-food-establishments/. Applications must be submitted at least five days prior to the event to avoid extra late fees. The license is issued by the health department on the day of the event.

While COVID-19 cases in our region continue to decrease, WUPHD would like to remind the public to be diligent to prevent the transmission of illness. If you are not feeling well, have symptoms of illness, or have been exposed to a person with COVID-19, please stay home and do not attend public gatherings or events. WUPHD would also like to encourage those who have not yet been vaccinated to obtain a COVID-19 vaccination. The vaccine is readily available and you can schedule a vaccination appointment at www.wuphd.org or by contacting your health care provider.

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