Apply for Temporary Food Permits

Instructions on how to apply for temporary food permits in the City of St. Louis

Begin online Call (314) 657-1539


The City of St. Louis Department of Health is charged with ensuring safe food practices for anyone who distributes food products to the community. Temporary Food Permits assist the Department with this process by helping assure public health through inspections, free training, and knowing where food is being sold or distributed if there is a foodborne illness outbreak.

Ordinance 71324 replaces Ordinances 71106 and 68597 and updates the City of St. Louis Food Code based on the latest edition of the National Food Code published by the United States Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, Food and Drug Administration, with local revisions and amendments. Ordinance 71324 also adopts the social justice/equity aspects surrounding nutritious food access. In addition, it seeks to obtain greater compliance through reduced permit fee options and free food safety training, paid for by application fees.


Before you apply for a temporary food permit,  please review:

  1. Temporary Food Permit and Food Safety Training video.
  2. Temporary Food Permit Criteria decision tree to understand the best type of temporary food permit needed for your distribution.
  3. Temporary food permit definitions.

After reviewing the educational video complete an evaluation.
A score of 75% or above is necessary for approval to operate under a temporary food permit. You will need to complete this evaluation annually.


Temporary Food permit applications and payments MUST be received by the Department NO LATER than TWO BUSINESS DAYS prior to your event, or the Department of Health will charge an additional $10 fee for an Expedited Temporary Application. For more information call (314) 657-1539 or email

In Person

COVID-19 Notice:

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, all visitors to the 1520 Market Street building (location of the Department of Health offices) are strongly encouraged to wear a mask.

The Department of Health issues temporary food permits Monday-Friday from 8:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m.

  • Fill out the online temporary food permit application. Please include a listing of food items expected to be served to the public. If you cannot fill out the online application, you can visit to Department of Health to complete the application. A printable temporary food permit application is also available here.
  • Enter the 1520 Market Street building through the main doors and pass through the security guard station.
  • Visit the Department of Health's main office on the 4th floor (Room 4051) to submit your information and payment to apply and receive a temporary food permit.
  • Please bring a business check, cashier's check, or money order for payment. Unfortunately, the City of St. Louis Department of Health's Food and Beverage Control division cannot accept cash or credit card payments. 
  • If you have not reviewed the Food Safety Training Video and completed the evaluation, please do so. At least one person who has successfully completed the training and evaluation must be on-site at all times on the day of the temporary permit. 


Use the Begin Online button below to apply. You will be required to come to the Health Department to pay for the permit once approved.

Begin online Call (314) 657-1539


Traditional Temporary Food Permit

  • $50 per day per vendor for each proposed day (limited to 14 times in one calendar year)

Specialty Food Permit

Examples: popcorn, lemonade, shaved ice/snow cones.

  • $100 annually (no limit on days)

Low Income, Low Access Census Tracts Community

Where residents are more than ½ mile from a grocery store and 50% or more of the population is at or below 200 percent of the federal poverty level. 
View Low Income, Low Access Census Tracts

  • $25 per day for a Sponsor or Vendor w/o Sponsor
  • $5 per day for additional vendors (no limit on days)

Farmers Market Food Permit

  •  $350 annually for the overall organizer
  •  $100 annually for each participating vendor

Sponsored Temporary Food Permit

  • $50 per day for Overall sponsor
  • $20 per day for each participating vendor (to be collected by the overall sponsor)

Charitable Feeding Food Permit

  • $25 per day overall sponsor
    • $5 for each participating vendor
  • $25 per day if only one vendor

Cottage Food Permit Waiver

"Non-Potentially hazardous" prepared in the home.
(Includes baked goods {breads, cookies, fruit pies}; canned jam, jelly, preserves, or fruit butters; honey; sorghum; cracked nuts; packaged spices and spice mixes; dry cookie, cake, bread, and soup mixes)

  • No fee; however, a permit is required.
  • Permit Waiver must be renewed annually by May 31.

Expedited Temporary Food Permit Application

  • $10 for applications received with less than two days notice

What to Expect

Please complete these steps when applying for a temporary food permit with the City of St. Louis Department of Health. 

  • Review a video presentation, Temporary Food Permits and Food Safety Training.
  • Follow the Temporary Food Permit Criteria decision tree to determine the best type of temporary food permit needed for your distribution. 
  • Take an online evaluation and receive a score of 75% or higher. If you do not reach that score, you will be allowed to retry the quiz once more. If you score less than 75% on your retry, you will be prompted to review the materials and restart the quiz.
  • Visit the City of St. Louis Department of Health's office at 1520 Market Street to complete the process. At our office: 
    • You will be asked to fill out a temporary food permit application (if not completed before arrival). Please include a listing of food items expected to be served to the public. 
    • Fees will be due at this time, and payment must be collected before a temporary food permit may be issued.
      • Fees are payable by a business check, cashier's check, or money order only. 
      • The Department of Health does not accept cash or credit cards for food permits.

Additional Information

Notice Under the Americans With Disabilities Act

If you require any reasonable modifications or auxiliary aids and services for effective communication because of a disability, call (314) 657-1480 or email 48 hours in advance.

City of St. Louis Department of Health - Environmental Health Services

Food and Beverage Control

(314) 657-1539 |


Department of Health

(314) 612-5100

1520 Market, Room 4051
St. Louis, MO 63103

Monday - Friday 8:00am - 5:00pm

Contact the Department of Health

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