Temporary Food Service Establishments

The City of Nashua Environmental Health Department licenses and inspects temporary food service events.  All food must come from or be made in commercially licensed establishments.  No home prepared foods are allowed for sale or distribution.   

If you are planning on hosting an event which provides food to the public, you will need to complete a temporary food service application along with a $50 application fee.  An additional $25 expedite fee will be applied for applications received less than 2 weeks prior to the start of the event.  Applications received less than 1 week prior to the start date of an event will be denied.     

Nashua maintains a list of mobile vendors that are licensed and approved to operate within the City.  If you wish to utilize one of these vendors, please refer to the current list of licensed mobile vendors below.  

For all vendors not licensed in Nashua, in addition to the completed application, we also require a copy of the vendors food service license and a copy of their most recent health inspection.  

An Environmental Health Specialist is available to answer any questions regarding an event by calling our main office at 603-589-4530.

Temporary Event Safety Concerns  

Temporary Food Service Events present a unique challenge to food safety as the food is served, and sometimes prepared, outside the controlled environment of a commercially licensed kitchen. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that each year 1 in 6 people get sick, 128,000 will be hospitalized, and 3,000 people will die from a foodborne illness.

There are several contributing factors to foodborne illness, but being aware of some of the common causes are critical in ensuring food safety for all patrons. Common causes of foodborne illness include:

  • Improper cooling and cold holding (cold food must be held below 41F)
  • Improper hot holding (hot food must be held above 135F)
  • Improper reheating of previously cooked food to above 165F
  • Preparing food too far ahead of service increases risk of temperature abuse
  • Poor personal hygiene, such as poor or improper hand washing and infected food workers
  • Contaminated raw foods and ingredients

Public Health Tips for Event Success 

  • Cold and hot foods must arrive at temperature for the planned event.  Food requiring temperature control but not at correct temperature upon arrival will not be allowed to be sold, served, or distributed.  Verify temperatures prior to leaving for an event to ensure proper temperature of food and bring thermometers to ensure temperature requirements throughout the event.  
  • Bring food grade sanitizer in a properly labeled spray bottle.  The most common food grade sanitizers are quaternary ammonium compounds (quat) and chlorine.  Test strips for sanitizer should also be present to ensure proper and safe concentrations (Quat = 200ppm; Chlorine = 50-100ppm).  A simple 50ppm chlorine sanitizer can be made by adding 1/2 teaspoon unscented bleach to 1 gallon of water.   
  • Hand sanitizer is never an acceptable substitute for handwashing as it is not effective against some viruses.  Please refer to the temporary hand wash set-up guidance on how to prepare a temporary hand wash station at your event.
  • Bring spare utensils (tongs, serving spoons, etc.) for serving or distributing food.  If one utensil is dropped on the ground or otherwise contaminated, you will always have a safe and clean replacement.  

Forms and Resources 

Food Service Fees

The Environmental Health Department Food Service Fees were updated on August 9, 2022. View the updated fees here.

Online Payments

Environmental Health Department license and application fees can be paid online here.  Select 'Food Service' from the drop down menu.  In the notes box please reference the event or vendor name you are paying for.  

Current List of Licensed Mobile Vendors 

Temporary Food Service Event Forms

Temporary Food Service Event Guidance