2013 Health Department Permits for BRC Kitchens

Dust City Diner, 2011 (photo by Christina Jackson)
Dust City Diner, 2011 (photo by Christina Jackson)

In order to fight the threat of food-borne illness on the playa, the Nevada State Health Division (NSHD) has requirements for camps preparing food including the need of a health permit and an inspection. You must apply for and be permitted as a Temporary Food Establishment by the NSHD if:

* You wish to share, cook or serve food or non-alcoholic beverages to the general Burning Man population (gifting food).

* You will be cooking or serving food to large groups of more than 125* FELLOW CAMPERS of your theme camp on a consistent basis.

(If you have a communal kitchen shared by 125 or more campers, but meals are prepared individually, or in smaller quantities than for 125 persons, a permit is not required, however we highly recommend you research and review safe food handling practices, starting with the Nevada Division of Health information).

Here are the permit procedures and deadlines:

If you have already applied for a permit, you should be receiving instructions in the mail soon.

If you are planning to make and give away food or drinks to the public on the playa including fresh squeezed juice, coffee with dairy, or even snow cones, you need a permit. Here’s the scoop from Cindy Ulch, Supervisor with the Nevada State Health Divisions Environmental Health Program:

The only application any camp needs is the “Food Permit Application for Burning Man” found here:

http://health.nv.gov/BFHS_EHS.htm

Look for the flame icon at the bottom of the website for this application and other food safety information and guidelines regarding Burning Man.

DEADLINES:

Via Mail: We must have sufficient time to be able to process the application and send back a letter of confirmation. So they need to be received at Ellen Kunz’s office in Winnemucca no later than one week before the event – FRIDAY AUGUST 16th.

Don’t wait until the last minute. It would be a shame to have to cancel your plans, or even risk being closed at the event. That mailing address is NSHD – PHCS 475 West Haskell Street Suite 38, Winnemucca, NV 89445.

In person: No later than THURSDAY AUGUST 22nd –

4150 Technology Way Suite 100, Carson City, NV.
Phone: (775) 687-7550

or

475 West Haskell Street Suite 38 Winnemucca, NV.
Phone (775) 623-6588.

On the application, the event coordinator is “Burning Man”. Leave the location blank, unless you know what street and intersection you be at during the event. After mailing the application and $50 USD payment, all anyone needs to do is come and pick up their permit at Playa Info in Center Camp during the following days and hours:

Sunday August 25th through Friday August 30th from 1:00 PM to 2:30 PM

We do this so that we can get an accurate camp location from which to do inspections. WE are NOT issuing new permits at Playa Info.

IMPORTANT: A NUMBER OF CAMPS LAST YEAR DID NOT COMPLETE THE PERMIT PROCESS BY PICKING UP THEIR PERMIT AT PLAYA INFO AND RECEIVING THEIR INSPECTION. NOT COMPLETING THE PROCESS IS THE SAME AS NOT BEING PERMITTED. DON’T BE SHUT DOWN. YOU MUST PICK UP YOUR PERMIT AND BE INSPECTED TO BE IN COMPLIANCE.

ADDITIONAL QUESTIONS:
Please contact Ellen Kunz (775) 623-6588
email ekunz here: ekunz (at) health.nv.gov

About the author: Will Chase

Will Chase first attended Burning Man 2001. He was Burning Man's Web Team Project Manager and Webmaster from 2004-2009, and the Operations Manager and member of the Art Council for the ARTery (Burning Man's art department headquarters in Black Rock City) from 2003-2008. In 2009, he transitioned into the Communications Department, where his responsibilities include global communication strategy, authoring the Jackrabbit Speaks Newsletter, content management for the Burning Man website, coordination of Burning Man's social networking efforts, and acting as editor for the Burning Blog. Tales of his sordid adventures can be found on his website.

5 thoughts on “2013 Health Department Permits for BRC Kitchens

  • Hi,
    At our little camp (4 people), we are going to have some tea and coffee, cookies and sticky buns on one morning, but I will be surprised if we have more than 20-30 eating a cookie or drinking tea or coffee.

    It will be more like something we set up for us but we will share once with some random passer-bys. I suspect this health license is not something I certainly have to be concerned with as I couldn’t give away 125 cuos of coffee and tea if I wanted to.

    Can you offer any advice?
    Papa Urban (Stuart)

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