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Temporary Food Establishment Requirements

The Food Safety Focus Group of the Nebraska Department of Agriculture is responsible for food establishment inspections in Nebraska. We make routine inspections of the temporary food stands across the state. The Nebraska Food Code, adopted in the Nebraska Pure Food Act, includes the sanitation requirements for temporary food stands. A copy of the Food Code may be obtained on-line at www.nda.nebraska.gov and accessing Laws/Regulations.

A pre-opening inspection to assure the basic requirements are met is recommended. A permit is required prior to operating. You may request an inspection by calling the Food Safety Focus Group at 402-471-3422 or by contacting the area sanitarian.


Some of the basic requirements include:
  1. A hand sink provided with hot and cold running water, hand soap, and disposable towels.


  2. Multi-use utensils must be washed, rinsed, sanitized, and air dried. A three-compartment sink with drainboards, or an equivalent facility, provided with hot and cold water must be provided for utensil washing.


  3. Food contact surfaces shall be smooth, cleanable, and non-absorbent, capable of repeated cleaning and sanitizing.


  4. Non-food contact surfaces, including countertops, walls, floors, and ceilings, shall be smooth, durable, cleanable, and non-absorbent.


  5. Potentially hazardous foods must be maintained at proper temperatures (i.e., hot foods at 135°F or above and cold foods at 41°F or less). Refrigeration and hot-holding equipment must be capable of maintaining these required temperatures.


  6. A metal-stem, bi-therm product thermometer with a 0°F to 220°F range and a sanitizer test kit must be provided for checking temperatures and sanitizer concentrations.


  7. Food preparation areas shall be effectively screened. Air curtains may be approved, if they provide effective volume of air to prevent insect entrance. Serving windows shall not be larger than necessary for the particular operation of that establishment.


  8. Waste water shall be disposed of properly and not allowed to drain on the ground.


  9. Food grade hose, must be used for potable water.


  10. Ice bins shall be continuously drained to prevent standing water. Ice shall be protected from contamination by being covered. Ice shall be dispensed with a suitable ice scoop, not with the customer cup.


  11. Light bulbs in food preparation areas shall be protected against breaking. Shatterproof bulbs may be used.


  12. Foods shall be stored six inches above floor level.


  13. Food handlers shall keep their hair effectively restrained. Hats, nets, or caps are recommended.


  14. Single-service cups shall be dispensed from cup dispensers to avoid unnecessary bare hand contact with lip-contact surfaces.