Mobile and Transient Retail Food Establishments

​​​​​Mobile Retail Food Establishments

All mobile retail food establishments and mobile service bases not licensed during the previous year must be inspected before opening for business. If a mobile service base is located in a different jurisdiction from the mobile retail food establishment, the operator of the mobile retail food establishment must first apply for a license ​for the mobile service base in this different jurisdiction. Licensure as a transient retail food establishment does not exempt an operator from licensure as a mobile retail food establishment.

​Transient Retail Food Establishment License

A transient retail food establishment is a food establishment that operates at a fixed location in conjunction with a special event and sells or serves food for a period of no more than 14 consecutive days or in conjunction with an occasional sales promotion.

The Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection, or a Local Public Health Department, acting as an Agent to the State, may limit or modify the nature of the food service or the food being served to protect the health and safety of the general public. Transient food stand operators may be limited in terms of type of food served, methods of preparation and storage, the number of persons served or the type of utensils. The requirement of the license and/or inspection is to ultimately ensure that the public is receiving the safest food possible and to prevent foodborne disease outbreaks.

Chapter 97 of the Wisconsin State Statutes requires that person(s) operating a food service establishment have a valid license issued by the Department and/or Agent health department. These license types are transferable from one location to another, meaning that if you have a license from Sheboygan County, you can travel to Marathon County to operate without additional licensing from Marathon County. All local jurisdictions reserve the right to inspect your unit and charge an inspection fee when you are operating within their boundaries.

Where you get the license ​will depend on whether the event is located in an agent health department’s jurisdiction or in an area that is under the State’s jurisdiction.