Minneapolis is host to hundreds of public events each year ranging from very small to very large, both indoors and outdoors.
Is a Seasonal Food Permit right for you?
A Seasonal Food Permit may be right for you if you are a food or beverage vendor planning to participate in farmers markets or in three or more public events in Minneapolis from April 1 through March 31 annually.
Apply now or apply at least two weeks before your event or farmers market.
The Seasonal Food Permit application has been updated to make the application easier to understand and to complete.
The new Minnesota food Code requires seasonal food permit vendors who work more than 10 days a year have a Certified Food Protection Manager (CFPM). The CFPM must be registered with the Minnesota Department of Health.
Food trucks licensed by the City of Minneapolis do NOT require a Seasonal Food Permit.
Questions? Contact 311 by calling 612-673-3000 or email [email protected] Ask for a health inspector on the food permit team.
What is a public event?
Most events are public events, including ticketed events. If general members of the public can purchase tickets or attend for free, the event is public. Private events are those that only a pre-defined group of people are invited to or can attend. Examples include family reunions, club or team celebrations and employee appreciation dinners.
If you are organizing a public event where food or beverages will be sold or given away in the City of Minneapolis, you will need an Event Food Sponsor Permit. This includes sampling (marketing) of food and/or beverage products. Selling or giving away food or beverages without a permit will result in closure and a fine. Private events do not require food permits.
If you need help determining if your event is public or private contact Minneapolis 311 (612-673-3000) and ask for a Health Inspector with the events permit team.
Green To Go at events
New in 2020
Event food sponsors are responsible for the collection and handling of to-go food and drink containers at their event.
Event food sponsors must:
- Provide recycling collection bins for recyclable food and drink containers
- Provide organics collection bins if any vendors use compostable plastic food containers
- Have systems in place to send materials collected for recycling or composting
Questions? Contact 311 at 612-673-3000 or [email protected]minneapolismn.gov. Ask for an Environmental Health supervisor.
Sponsoring a Public Event
Event Food Sponsors
During summer months large volumes of events require approval. Event Food Sponsors are encouraged to turn in all applications and fees as early as possible to ensure plenty of time for review and approval.
Event Food Sponsors must complete all sections of the Event Food Sponsor Permit application and list all vendors taking part. As the Event Food Sponsor, you may also provide food or beverage. Simply fill out your own Short Term Food Permit application and list your organization or business name used on that permit in the FREE vendor line of the Event Food Sponsor Permit application.
The Event Food Sponsor must submit the following applications and fees to Minneapolis Environmental Health at least two weeks before the event:
- Event Food Sponsor Permit application (PDF) - English, Español
- Short Term Food Permit application for vendor(s) selling or giving away food or beverages (PDF) - English, Español
- Seasonal Food Permit application (PDF) for vendor(s) selling or giving away food or beverages at multiple licensed civic events and/or farmers markets - English, Español
- Payment for all applications - See payment options below.
Event Food Sponsors are responsible for giving information about Minneapolis Green To Go rules to event food vendors. Visit Green to Go for information and flyers.
Licensed Minneapolis restaurants and bars with a Temporary Expansion of Liquor License for an event may require an Event Food Sponsor Permit and vendor permits. For these events, fees will be waived for the Event Food Sponsor Permit and Short Term Food Permit if the restaurant or bar is the only food or beverage vendor.
Are there any events that are exempt and do not need food permits?
Yes, Minnesota exempts several food events or food vendors from licensing or permitting requirements. The exemptions are very specific. It is the responsibility of the individual(s) using any of the following exemptions to make sure they meet the qualifications listed in the State exemption and follow through on all requirements.
Possible permitting exemptions include:
- Faith Based organizations
- Chili or soup cook-offs for non-profit fundraisers.
- Bake sales by non-profit senior citizen organizations.
- Potluck - not sponsored by a licensed establishment other than a school.
View the full list of exemptions provided by the Minnesota Revisor of Statues Office.
Selling or giving away food at a public event
Food and Beverage vendors
A Short Term Food Permit is required to sell or give away food or beverage to the public, even if you have a licensed restaurant or other licensed food business.
Complete all sections of the Short Term Food Permit application. Give your application to the event food sponsor at least two weeks before the event.
Exceptions for Food Vendors
Food vendors with one of following licenses or permits do not require a Short Term Food Permit. Simply give your permit or registration number, or license information, to your event food sponsor at least two weeks before the event:
- Licensed Minneapolis Mobile Food Vehicle (food truck) and Limited Mobile Food vendors
- Vendors with a Minneapolis Seasonal Food Permit
- Cottage Food Law exempt vendors registered with the Minnesota Department of Agriculture
- Product of the Farm exempt vendors
Applications must be received at least two weeks before your event begins.
Your application is late if it is received less than two weeks before your event begins.
Event Food Sponsor Permit
- $90 for an event with 1 to 10 food or beverage vendors
- $175 for an event with 11 - 20 food or beverage vendors
- $265 for an event with 21+ or more food or beverage vendors
- Events at the Minneapolis Convention Center are half of the standard fee
- Fees are doubled for late applications
Short Term Food Permit
- $90 for public events in the City of Minneapolis
- $45 for public events at the Minneapolis Convention Center
- Fees are doubled for late applications
Seasonal Food Permit
- $240 for an annual Seasonal Food Permit (April 1 - March 31)
Applications and payments must be received at least two weeks prior to the event start date or late fees apply. Applications received less than two business days before the event may not be approved or could be restricted.
Pay by email
Fees can be paid by credit card. City staff will call you to get your payment information.
Email your application to [email protected]
Do not include your credit card number on your application.
Pay in person
Fees can be paid by check, cash, or credit card
Minneapolis Development Review
505 South 4th Avenue, Room 220
Pay by mail
Fees can be paid by check. Make checks payable to: Minneapolis Finance.
Minneapolis Environmental Health
505 South 4th Avenue, Room 520
Minneapolis, MN 55415
Food vendor materials
Visit the City's website for more food safety resources.
Green To Go
The Minneapolis Green To Go ordinance requires food prepared for immediate consumption and to-go must be put in reusable, recyclable or compostable food containers. Preferred recyclable plastics are plastics number 1, 2 and 5. Polystyrene products may not be used. Polystyrene products are foam (Styrofoam) and #6 plastics.
Visit the City's Green to Go web page for more information.
Although caterers are exempt from this ordinance, caterers are encouraged to use preferred plastics number 1, 2, and 5, or compostable products for serving and to-go containers.
If you have a questions about either list, contact the Health Department at 612-673-2301 or [email protected]. Ask to speak with a health inspector on the food permit team.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Visit the event sponsors and vendors FAQ page for more information.
To contact a health inspector, call 311 (outside Minneapolis call 612-673-3000) or email [email protected]. Ask for a health inspector on the events team.
Should you require a reasonable accommodation in order to fully participate, or information in an alternative format, please contact 612-673-2301.
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Last updated Feb 9, 2021