Health and Safety Basics for Festival Vendors

November 2009

Photo by b ywww.lukasdesignPhoto by b ywww.lukasdesign

If you’re at all experienced in being a vendor for various festivals, fairs, and events, you probably know that there are certain health and safety regulations that you’ll be required to follow in order to even get into the fair. However, even if you’re given what looks like and extensive list, you’ll want to go to extremes to protect the health and safety of your employees and customers, as failing to do so could have some pretty severe consequences.

Of course, health and safety rules are different for food vendors than they are for craft vendors. We’ll begin, though, with the rules that apply to both.
First off, any time you set up your booth, you need to check it for potential hazards. Check to see that all of your tent pegs are grounded properly and are not in the main thoroughfare, and be sure that any electrical plugs you’re using are plugged in tight and don’t have any bare wires showing. Also, within your booth or outside of it, if customers only stand under the awning, be sure that there are no major safety hazards.

Eventually, you’ll be practiced enough that it will be second nature to you to notice things like these, but until then, consciously check for things like potential tripping hazards and things that might fall over. Tape or tack down all extension cords so they don’t get tangled around feet, and be sure that all signs are hung up securely so that don’t fall. If you’re dealing with fragile crafts, you’ll want to be particularly careful about how you set things about, placing them so that they both look nice and stay secure.

For food vendors, there are a whole host of other health and safety rules, but the particular rules that you need to follow will depend on the products you’re selling. If you’re working with anything like meat that needs to be either cold or hot, be sure that you don’t let it sit around lukewarm so that it breeds bacteria.
Also, be sure that you’re following rules about hand washing; tell your employees that if they’re wondering whether or not they should wash their hands, they should, and that if they haven’t thought about washing their hands in a while, they should wash them. Be sure that all clothing and hair stays out of the food, and follow all the necessary handling rules for any food you’re dealing with.

Most of these healthy and safety rules are common sense, but be sure that you remember them in the heat of setting up for a show.


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By RUBYHall34 on July 23, 2010

I am wondering if there is a specific regulation to setup for fresh squeeze lemonade. Any suggestion will be really appreciated.

By Tom on July 18, 2013

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