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1. A mobile unit may operate at public events (fairs, festivals, etc.) by applying for Temporary Food Service Permits for each event. Requirements are less restrictive than annually licensed units that operate on a more regular basis.
2. A mobile unit operating on a routine basis requires an annual Food Service License and the mobile unit must be in full compliance with Maryland’s Food Service Regulations (COMAR 10.15.03). Operating as an annually licensed mobile unit in Frederick County will also allow you to participate at public events in Frederick County without the need of additionally obtaining Temporary Food Service Permits.
A) Have a mobile unit constructed. This option requires submitting plans to be reviewed and approved by the Frederick County Health Department Food Program prior to the start of any construction. (Plan review fee is required.)
B) Purchase a pre-owned mobile unit that is already outfitted with necessary equipment. This option is more risky to the operator because mobile units licensed in other jurisdictions may not be automatically licensed in Frederick County. It is recommended that when shopping for pre-owned mobile units, pictures of the mobile unit (including equipment, sinks, and plumbing detail, etc.) are submitted for evaluation prior to purchase.
All mobile units require a Base of Operations or Commissary in order to comply with COMAR 10.15.03. This is where the mobile unit will get potable water, dispose of gray water, dispose of grease from fryers (if need be), use the larger 3 compartment sink for cleaning and sanitizing equipment on the mobile unit, and where the mobile unit may have storage as needed. An additional license may be required for the “Base of Operations” if the kitchen is being used for more than clean-up, minimal storage, and/or minimal prep.
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For questions about Temporary Food Service at public events, see Temporary Special Food Service Facilities page.
The procedures for opening or remodeling a restaurant in Frederick County can be found on the Plan Review Submission page.
Effective March 1, 2014, state law requires “a food establishment shall display prominently in the staff area of the food establishment a poster related to food allergy awareness that includes information regarding the risk of an allergic reaction." The following link provides additional information on food allergens: