Illinois Temporary Food Stand Safety Guidelines

Click here for the Temporary Food Service Establishment License Application

Information Provided By: Illinois Department of Public Health

These guidelines consider the temporary food stand’s special circumstances and are intended to help operators comply with the Illinois Food Service Sanitation Code. Additional requirements may be imposed to protect the public’s health or to prohibit the sale of some or all potentially hazardous foods. When no health hazard exists, some requirements may be waived.

Stand Construction

  • Interior construction materials shall be suitable for use and easily cleanable.
  • All openings to the outside shall be proteced from flying insects by an effective air curtain, tight-fitting screens or doors.
  • Stands shall be adequately screened and ventilated to the outside when grills, fryers or ovens are located inside the stand. The ventilation shall be adequate to remove trapped heat, smoke and moisture.
  • Floors shall be constructed of smooth and cleanable material and elevated off the ground.
  • Living quarters shall be completely partitioned or separated from food preparation or storage.


  • All food shall be obtained from approved sources.
  • All food preparation shall be done inside the stand except for approved outside cookers and grills.
  • Food shall be protected from contamination at all times. Bacteria, viruses, chemicals and foreign materials like broken glass are dangerous food hazards that may contaminate food.
  • Potentially hazardous foods – like meats, eggs, dairy products (for example, cream-filled pastries), cut melon, cooked vegetables and grains – shall be held at temperatures above 140° F or below 41° F. Flash display of these foods without temperature control is prohibited. These foods can support dangerous bacterial growth at unsafe temperatures.
  • Raw animal products must be cooked to the following internal temperatures for at least 15 seconds:
    Poultry and stuffed food
    165° F
    Pork; ground, diced or shredded meats and fish; eggs cooked ahead
    155° F
    Whole cut meats and fish, fresh eggs
    145° F
  • All ice must be obtained from an approved source in single use bags.
  • Only canned or bottled beverages may be stored on drained ice. This ice may not be used for human consumption.
  • Opened containers of potentially hazardous foods must be labeled with the date they were opened. If the date is missing, the food item may be subject to destruction.
  • Frozen potentially hazardous foods may be thawed in mechanical refrigeration units, under running water no warmer than 70° F or cooked frozen without interruption until done.
  • Food and single service articles or utensils must be stored off the floor.
  • Potentially hazardous foods such as reconstituted mixes and batters, dairy mixes in dispensing units, and foods heated for service and not sold shall be discarded at the end of each day.
  • Food may be prepared off-site at an approved food service. These foods must be labeled with the production date and properly transported to the food stand at safe temperatures.
  • Ready-to-eat foods shall not be touched with bare hands. Disposable gloves, deli tissue, spatula, tongs or other utensils may be used to handle these foods.
  • Self-serve condiments shall be individually packaged or offered in containers that are self closing or enclosed.
  • To protect public health, the health authority may condemn any food found to be contaminated or to be held at unsafe temperatures.


  • All water used at the stand shall be from an approved source.
  • All plumbing shall comply with the Illinois Plumbing Code.
  • Hoses used to provide water shall be of food-grade quality.
  • Adequate hot and cold water shall be available for food preparation, cleaning, sanitizing and hand washing.
  • When hot water under pressure is not available, a means to furnish hot water shall be provided.


  • Equipment shall be located and installed to allow cleaning and to prevent food contamination.
  • Food contact surfaces must be smooth and easily cleanable, maintained in good condition and protected from contamination.
  • Scoops for potentially hazardous foods shall be stored with the handle up in running water wells, in still water above 140° F or below 40° F (ice water), or in the product.
  • Refrigeration failure due to any type of power outage must be immediately reported to the health authority.
  • Accurate metal-stemmed thermometers shall be used to check food temperatures.
  • Refrigeration for potentially hazardous foods must be equipped with an accurate numerical thermometer.
  • Adequate equipment and space are required for temperature control of potentially hazardous foods.
  • Temperatures of all refrigeration and hot food holding units shall be checked at least every two hours during operation. If a unit cannot be adjusted to maintain proper temperatures, discontinue using it for storing potentially hazardous foods.
  • Outside grills and cookers must have overhead coverings and barriers to safeguard the public.


  • Utensils, equipment and the stand must be kept clean.
  • At least three sink basins are required for manual utensil cleaning. Use the first basin to clean utensils, the second for rinsing and the third for chemical sanitizing. Replace water when dirty. Air dry and store clean utensils in a protected location. Basins must be filled during hours of operation, even if running water is not available.
  • Sanitizing solutions shall be equivalent to 50 ppm chlorine (bleach); for other sanitizers, follow directions on container. Chemical test strips must be used to measure sanitizer concentration.
  • All water storage containers must be cleaned and sanitized before filling and between refillings.
  • Wiping cloths shall be stored in a clean sanitizing solution between uses. Paper towels may be used with a sanitizing solution from a spray bottle.

Waste Disposal

  • All sewage, including liquid waste, shall be disposed of according to the law.
  • Trash shall be held in a manner that does not create a nuisance.

Personal Hygiene

  • Hand washing facilities equipped with clean warm water, soap and paper towels shall be accessible at all times. Hand sinks are to be designated for that use only and posted with an instructional sign. A large container with a free flow stay-on spout may be used to supply clean water when running water is not available.
  • Hands and arms must be washed, rinsed and properly dried before starting work and after breaks. Common towels are prohibited. wash hands before using single use gloves, after handling raw foods, coughing or sneezing, and whenever contaminated.
  • The food handler who has fever, vomiting, diarrhea, jaundice (yellow skin or eyes), severe burns, boils or cuts or who is a known carrier of an infectious disease transmittable by food shall not be allowed to work in a food stand. Minor cuts or burns must be covered with both clean adhesive bandages and disposable gloves.
  • Hair restraints are required for all food handlers.
  • Eating, smoking or any personal care is not to be done inside stands. Sitting on counters and equipment is prohibited. A single service cup with a lid and straw will be acceptable for drinking inside stands, if stored and used at a non-food preparation location.

Hand Washing Procedures

Clean hands and exposed portions of arms with a hand soap in only those sinks designated for this purpose.

Lather and wash hands vigorously, rubbing together the surfaces of the hands and arms for at least 20 seconds. Pay particular attention to the areas underneath the fingernails and between the fingers.

Rinse hands thoroughly with clean potable water and use disposable paper towels to dry hands. The use of common towels, aprons or clothing for drying hands is prohibited.