Western UP Health Department

Leading The Community Toward Better Health

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People wait in line to buy snack food at a traveling summer carnival.

A Special Transitory Food Unit (STFU) is a food service operation that serves a limited menu from an enclosed trailer or other approved layout. Once licensed, an STFU can operate throughout the State of Michigan.

Requirements to Operate a Special Transitory Food Unit (STFU)

    • An STFU must submit a plan review packet, including a plan review application, fee, menu, standard operating procedures, drawing/photos/layout of trailer, equipment specification sheets, and any other applicable items listed below.

    • An STFU must have the equipment and resources to ensure food safety for its menu and operation. This typically includes items such as running water to wash hands and equipment/utensils, a method to sanitize equipment surfaces, a metal stem thermometer, methods of hot and cold holding of foods, and a method of covering and protecting food from customers and the elements.

    • An STFU must have the unit’s name and operator’s city on each side of the exterior in letters at least 3 inches high.

    • You are required to submit a “Notice of Intent to Operate” in writing to the local health department jurisdiction you will be operating in a minimum of four (4) days prior to the event.

    • You must have two (2) paid inspections per year to maintain your STFU license from year to year. The licensing year is from May 1 – April 30.

    Resources for Special Transitory Food Units:

    WUPHD Food Program Fee Schedule