Restaurants/Vending/Temporary Restaurants


A restaurant is any building, room or place where meals are prepared or served or sold to transients or the general public, and all places used in connection with it and includes any public or private school lunchroom for which food service is provided by contract. "Meals" does NOT include soft drinks, ice cream, milk, milk drinks, ices and confections. "Restaurant" does NOT include:

  • Taverns that serve free lunches consisting of popcorn, cheese, crackers, pretzels, cold sausage, cured fish or bread and butter.
  • Churches, religious, fraternal, youths' or patriotic organizations, service clubs and civic organizations which occasionally (three days or less per year) prepare, serve or sell meals to transients or the general public. Please call the Health Department to verify whether your organization falls into this category.
  • Any public or private school lunchroom for which food service is directly provided by the school (inspections are required by the health department twice a year).
  • Any bed and breakfast establishment that serves breakfasts only to its lodgers (requires inspection and B&B license).
  • The serving of food or beverage through a licensed vending machine (requires special vending license).
  • A concession stand at a locally sponsored sporting event, such as a little league game (must be youth orientated).
  • A potluck event.
    • "Potluck event" means an event to which all of the following apply:
    • Attendees of the event provide food and beverages to be shared with other attendees and consumed at the event.
    • No compensation is provided to any person who conducts or assists in providing the event or who provides food and beverages to be shared at the event, and no compensation is paid by any person for consumption of food or beverages at the event.
    • The event is sponsored by a church; religious, fraternal, youth, or patriotic organization or service club; civic organization; parent-teacher organization; senior citizen center or organization; or adult day care center (any facility that is required to hold a Polk County facility food license and is not one of the organizations listed above shall NOT hold potluck events)

Temporary Restaurants

Food service that operates at a fixed location in conjunction with a single event such as a benefit/fair, carnival, circus, public exhibition, anniversary sale or occasional sales promotion. If you plan to serve food to the general public you are required to contact the health department.

Vending Machines

Any self-service device offered for public use which, upon insertion of a coin or token, or by other means, dispenses unit servings of food or beverage either in bulk or in package, without the necessity of replenishing the device between each vending operation. Vending machine does NOT include a device which dispenses only bottled, prepackaged or canned soft drinks, a one-cent vending device, a vending machine dispensing only candy, gum, nuts, nut meats, cookies or crackers, or a vending machine dispensing only prepackaged Grade A pasteurized milk or milk products.

Vending machine licensing applications are processed through the state and then inspected by Polk County.

Vending Machine Commissary

Any building, room or place where food, beverage, ingredients, containers, transport equipment or supplies for vending machines are kept, handled, prepared or stored by a vending machine operator. "Vending machine commissary" does NOT mean any place at which the operator is licensed to manufacture, distribute or sell food products under ch. 97.

Vending Machine Location

The room, enclosure, space or area where one or more vending machines are installed and operated.

Vending Machine Operator

The person maintaining a place or business in the state and responsible for the operation of one or more vending machines.

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Documents3 documents

  • Wisconsin Administrative Code AATCP 75 - Wisconsin Food Code

Handouts for more information39 documents

  • Allergens
  • Approved Source
  • Bare Hand Contact
  • Check Food Temps
  • Clean-up Kit Poster
  • Consumer Advisory
  • Cooling Procedures
  • Date Marking
  • Demonstration of Knowledge
  • Employee Health Definitions
  • Employee Hygiene
  • Employee Reporting Agreement
  • Food Code Changes
  • Food Distribution Guidelines
  • Food Safety During Weather Emergency
  • Food Safety for Exempt Groups
  • Food Shields
  • Foodborne Illness Chart
  • Glove Use
  • Hand Sanitizers
  • Handwashing
  • Melon Safe Handling
  • Mobile Plans Review for Operators
  • Organizing Walk In Cooler
  • Food Temp Chart
  • Cooler Temp Chart
  • Plan Review Checklist Guide
  • Plan Review for Retail Food
  • Sick Employee Genl Population
  • Sick Employee Susceptible Population
  • Temp Event Guidelines
  • Temperature Guide
  • Thawing Food
  • Thermometer Calibration
  • Time as Public Health Control
  • Time-Temp Control for Safety
  • Untreated Juice
  • Variance or HACCP Requirements
  • Washing Sanitizing