Types of Food Establishments

Permanent Food Establishments

A permanent food establishment is where food is provided for service directly to the consumer, whether the food is provided free of charge or sold, and whether the food is consumed on or off the premises. The distinguishing feature of permanent food establishments is that they are permanently built according to applicable building codes in a fixed location. This includes, but is not limited to, restaurants, employee cafeterias, bakeries, pizzerias, bars, grocery stores, convenience stores, drive-thru, take-out, senior centers, emergency food relief organizations, public and non-public schools, or religious, fraternal and charitable organizations.

See the Guidance Manual below and Island County Food Code for additional information related to permanent food establishments.

To begin the process of obtaining a permit, please see the complete application packet below.

Individual food establishment documents and forms are located below.

E-mail foodsafety@islandcountywa.gov with questions or to request a pre-application conference.

Donated Food Distributing Organizations

To begin the process of obtaining a permit, please see the complete application and checklist below.

Temporary Food Establishments

Temporary food establishments refer to operations at a fixed location in conjunction with an approved special event or celebration such as a fair, festival, or an organized recurring event such as a Farmer's Market. The distinguishing feature of temporary food establishments is that they operate for a short period of time, either indoors or outdoors, with limited physical and sanitary facilities available. As such, operations at temporary food establishments may be considered high risk and require use of an approved commissary kitchen for advance preparation of foods.

Please see the Guidance Manual below and Island County Food Code for additional information related to temporary food establishments.

To begin the process of obtaining a temporary food establishment, see the documents below.

Farmers Markets

Organized farmers markets are considered a temporary food establishment that operates on a recurring basis. Food vendors at farmers' markets may be able to operate under a permit obtained by the organizer of the farmers' market or with a permit issued directly to the food vendor. Island County works closely with organizers to screen all food vendors to determine if a permit is required or if an exemption may exist that allows operations. Please see the farmers market permit matrix for additional details on permit types.

To begin the process of obtaining a farmers market permit, see the documents below.

E-mail foodsafety@islandcountywa.gov with questions or to request a pre-application conference.

Mobile Food Establishments

Mobile food establishments refer to operations that utilize a readily moveable design, such as mobile food trucks, trailers, carts, and other portable units designed for the service of food. The distinguishing feature of mobile food establishments is that they are designed to remain mobile or transitory by design, and they are not permanently built according to applicable building codes in a fixed location. Due to the mobile design of these establishments, an approved commissary and/or servicing area is required to be used to support operations. Due to lack of applicable building codes, mobile food establishments may also be required to be inspected and permitted by the Washington State Department of Labor & Industries.

Please see the Guidance Manual below and Island County Food Code for additional information related to mobile food establishments.

  • Mobile Food Establishment Guidance Manual
  • Island County Food Code

To begin the process of obtaining a permit, see the complete application packet below.

  • Mobile Food Establishment Application Packet

Individual mobile food establishment documents and forms are located below.

  • Checklist
  • Application
  • Questionnaire
  • Source and Menu
  • Food Process Flows
  • Plans and Photos (Sample)
  • Equipment List
  • Finish Schedule
  • Itinerary and Operations
  • Forms and Agreements
  • Commissary
  • Servicing Area
  • Visit Log
  • Restroom
  • Water & Wastewater 
  • Cleaning Schedule

E-mail foodsafety@islandcountywa.gov with questions or to request a pre-application conference.