Food stalls

If you are operating a food stall - whether giving away food as a promotion or selling it - food safety requirements apply.

Food stalls are temporary structures used for the sale of food usually at events, fairs, markets or sporting events. Limited equipment is held in stalls and for this reason a commercial kitchen is often required to prepare food before the event.

Application process

You need to register before trading within Wellington. As we are not able to see you working before you start selling food, you will need to provide the following information with your completed registration form:

  • details and photos of the food you plan to make
  • information about the location where the food will be prepared
  • a plan of the stall to show how the equipment will be set up
  • photographs and a list of equipment to be used in the stall
  • details of how food is to be transported to the event or market.

Apply for a Certificate of Registration

Where to operate

Before applying, you must seek approval from the land owner or the organiser from where you wish to trade. Here are a few options of people you may need to talk to: 

  • Public space – please have a look at the trading in public places page
  • Wellington City park, garden or beach –  contact 
  • A local market – these are privately run and you will need to contact the organiser
  • Private property – permission required form the land owner
  • Wellington waterfront – contact

Guidelines for running a safe food stall

When handling food always ask yourself:

  • Am I protecting food from contamination?
  • Am I maintaining food at the correct temperature?

Why do we insist on safety

Temporary food stalls are increasing in popularity and have become important features at many festivals and markets.

Temporary food stalls can be riskier to consumers than cafes and restaurants because they are temporary, lack of facilities, and are a small space, which may potentially lead to cross contamination.

Cross contamination

  • It is important that no raw meat is prepared within the stall. This includes cutting, skewering or additional handling. 
  • All pre-prepared meat must be stored in appropriate containers to avoid leakage and contamination of other food and equipment.

Storage on site

  • All food needs to be stored in appropriate containers intended for food storage.
  • All perishable food must be maintained at appropriate temperature either below 5°C or above 60°C.
  • Ensure you have adequate mobile refrigerators, cold rooms or chilli bins with ice to store the bulk of your high-risk food for the day.
  • A thermometer must be kept on site and used to regularly check the temperature of hot and cold foods. Electricity supplies at temporary events can be unstable and cut out without operators knowing. Checking the thermometer regularly and recording temperatures will alert you to any potential problems.

Washing facilities

  • Hand washing facilities are to be provided with water, liquid soap and paper towels.
  • All cooking utensils are to be removed from the site at the end of the day and thoroughly cleaned and sanitised in dishwashing facilities connected to hot water.


  • All cooking and hot food storage equipment is to be located under cover.
  • If cooking equipment is located at the front of the stall, provide a sneeze barrier to protect the food.
  • Locate any BBQ away from close proximity to the public. Ideally place it at the back of the stall. Remember, a BBQ can pose a danger to the public, especially young children.
  • A dry chemical fire extinguisher of suitable capacity must be placed in the stall.

Structure and location

  • Stall covers help protect the food from contamination – ideally a marquee with three sides
  • Tables and benches must be sturdy and covered with a material that is easy to clean.


  • Provide a container with a fitted lid and bin liner for the disposal of waste
  • All waste oil must be placed into an approved oil recycling container and removed at the end of the event by a licensed waste contractor.
  • Waste water is to be stored in a container and labelled ‘Waste water only’ and disposed into a sewer under a trade waste approval.