Reminder: Temporary Food Service License Applications Must Be Submitted 14 Days in Advance

couple ordering from food truck

As the warm weather approaches, we enter a season of outdoor events, festivals, and celebrations. From food trucks to music festivals, these gatherings are a beloved part of our local culture, bringing people together to enjoy good food, music, and community. However, behind the scenes, there’s an essential aspect that ensures these events are not only enjoyable but also safe — the permitting process.

At the heart of this process lies the Temporary Food Service License Application. These licenses play a crucial role in safeguarding the health and well-being of attendees, and their applications must be submitted within a specific timeframe in order to be approved. 

Temporary Food Service License Applications should be submitted at least 14 days in advance of the event. This timeframe allows the Uncas Health District the necessary time to review the application thoroughly, conduct any required inspections, and ensure that all health and safety regulations are met. It’s not just about paperwork – it’s about making sure that every event is held in a safe environment, free from potential health hazards.

But what happens if an event organizer misses the 14-day window?  Uncas Health District aims to incentivize timely submissions while still allowing for some flexibility. Temporary Food Service License Applications submitted less than 14 days but more than five business days before the event may still be approved, but the fee amount will be doubled. This additional fee helps cover the extra resources required to expedite the processing of these last-minute applications.

However, there must be a cut-off for applications. Applications submitted within five business days of the event will not be issued a temporary food service license. This is because there is simply not enough time to properly review the application, conduct inspections, and address any potential issues that may arise. While it may seem stringent, it’s a necessary measure to uphold the standards of safety and health for all event attendees.

This policy is reflective of our commitment to the well-being of our community. The Uncas Health District understands the importance of these events in bringing enjoyment and vitality to our neighborhoods. Still, it also recognizes the responsibility to ensure that these gatherings are held in safe and sanitary conditions. By adhering to these guidelines, event organizers play a crucial role in creating an environment where everyone can enjoy themselves without worry.

As we eagerly anticipate the upcoming season of festivities, let’s remember the importance of prioritizing health and safety. By working with the Uncas Health District and submitting temporary event permit applications in a timely manner, we can all ensure a spring, summer, and fall full of really great community celebrations.

You can find the temporary food service license application here.

Uncas Health District Fee Schedule

A Springboard to Better Health: How Healthy Eating Makes a Difference

father and son making a salad

It’s National Nutrition Month, and what better time to celebrate the incredible power of food?  The choices we make on our plates don’t just affect our taste buds; they have a profound impact on our overall health and well-being.

This month, let’s ditch the fad diets and focus on building a sustainable, healthy relationship with food. By prioritizing nutritious choices, we can empower ourselves to prevent chronic diseases and live life to the fullest.

Healthy Eating for a Healthy You

  • Disease Prevention Powerhouse: A diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains is packed with essential vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. These play a crucial role in reducing the risk of chronic diseases like heart disease and type 2 diabetes.

  • Weight Management: Filling your plate with nutrient-dense foods keeps you feeling fuller for longer, reducing cravings and aiding in healthy weight management.

  • Energy Booster: Processed foods and sugary drinks might give you a temporary spike, but they often lead to crashes and leave you feeling sluggish. Healthy meals provide sustained energy to power you through your day.

  • Sharper Mind, Stronger Body: The right nutrients nourish your brain and nervous system, improving cognitive function and focus. Additionally, a balanced diet supports a strong immune system, keeping you protected from illnesses.

Making Healthy Choices Easier

  • Plan Your Meals: Taking some time each week to plan meals and snacks helps you make healthy choices in advance and avoid grabbing unhealthy options when you’re short on time.

  • Get Cooking: Experimenting in the kitchen allows you to control ingredients and portion sizes. Plus, it’s a fun way to explore new flavors and get creative!

  • Stock Up on Staples: Keep your pantry and fridge stocked with healthy essentials like fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean protein sources. This makes it easier to whip up nutritious meals on the go.

  • Read Food Labels: Don’t be fooled by marketing! Understanding ingredients and portion sizes allows you to make informed choices.

  • Make Small Changes: Start by incorporating small changes into your diet. Swap sugary drinks for water, add a side of vegetables to your lunch, or choose whole-wheat bread instead of white. Every healthy step counts!

National Nutrition Month is a springboard, not a finish line. By embracing healthy eating habits, you’re investing in yourself and your future. Remember, food is more than just sustenance; it’s a powerful tool for living a long, healthy, and fulfilling life. So, this month and beyond, celebrate the joy of healthy eating and fuel your body to reach its full potential.

Food Safety Tips for Thanksgiving Dinner and Leftovers

woman prepares a turkey

Thanksgiving is a time for family, friends, and, of course, food. However, with all the excitement of the holiday, it’s important to remember food safety practices to ensure everyone has a safe and enjoyable meal.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), food-borne illnesses are a common and significant public health problem in the United States. Each year, an estimated 48 million Americans get sick, 128,000 are hospitalized, and 3,000 die from foodborne diseases.

Prevention is Key

The good news is that food-borne illnesses can be prevented by following proper food safety practices. Here are some key tips to keep in mind when preparing and serving Thanksgiving dinner:


  • Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water for at least 20 seconds before and after handling raw meat, poultry, or seafood.

  • Wash all produce under running water, even if you plan to peel it.

  • Clean and sanitize all surfaces that will come into contact with food, such as countertops, cutting boards, and utensils.


  • Keep raw meat, poultry, and seafood separate from other foods to prevent cross-contamination.

  • Use different cutting boards for raw meat, poultry, seafood, and produce.


  • Cook all meat, poultry, and seafood to the proper internal temperature. Use a food thermometer to check for doneness.

  • The safe internal temperatures are:

    • Ground meats: 160°F

    • Ground poultry: 165°F

    • Whole poultry: 165°F (breast, thigh, and stuffing)

    • Beef, pork, lamb, and veal steaks, chops, and roasts: 145°F with a 3-minute rest

    • Seafood: 145°F


  • Refrigerate leftovers promptly within two hours of cooking.

  • Store leftovers in shallow containers to allow them to cool quickly.

  • Cover leftovers tightly to prevent them from drying out or absorbing odors.

Storing + Reheating Leftovers Leftovers

Proper storage of leftovers is essential to prevent food-borne illnesses. Here are some guidelines for storing Thanksgiving leftovers:

  • Turkey: Cooked turkey can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days.

  • Stuffing: Cooked stuffing can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days.

  • Mashed potatoes: Mashed potatoes can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days.

  • Gravy: Gravy can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 2-3 days.

  • Desserts: Pies and cakes can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days.

When reheating leftovers, it’s important to ensure they reach a safe internal temperature of 165°F. Use a food thermometer to check for doneness.

Freezing Leftovers

For longer storage, leftovers can be frozen. Here are some guidelines for freezing Thanksgiving leftovers:

  • Turkey: Cooked turkey can be frozen for up to 2-3 months.

  • Stuffing: Cooked stuffing can be frozen for up to 1-2 months.

  • Mashed potatoes: Mashed potatoes can be frozen for up to 1-2 months.

  • Gravy: Gravy can be frozen for up to 2-3 months.

  • Desserts: Pies and cakes can be frozen for up to 2-3 months.

By following these simple food safety guidelines, you can help ensure that your Thanksgiving dinner is not only delicious but also safe for everyone to enjoy.

Helpful tips for a healthy and safe Halloween

Kids trick or treat. Halloween fun for children.

Halloween is a favorite holiday for both children and adults, but it is important to make safe and healthy choices while enjoying the occasion. Here are some tips for parents on how everyone can enjoy a safe and healthy Halloween.

Trick-or-treating safety

  • Make sure your child’s costume is well-fitting and flame-resistant.
  • Add reflective tape or stickers to your child’s costume and bag to make them more visible to drivers.
  • Choose a light-colored costume if possible.
  • If your child is wearing a mask, make sure it has large eyeholes and that it allows them to breathe easily.
  • Accompany young children while trick-or-treating.
  • Only trick-or-treat at houses that are well-lit and decorated.
  • Inspect all candy before allowing your child to eat it.

Healthy eating habits with Halloween candy

  • Limit your child’s candy intake.
  • Encourage your child to choose healthier candy options, such as dark chocolate or sugar-free candy.
  • Serve candy with a meal or snack to help regulate blood sugar levels.
  • Offer your child other healthy snacks, such as fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the average American child consumes between 3,500 and 7,000 calories worth of candy on Halloween. 

Eating too much candy can be a contributing factor in future health problems, including obesity, tooth decay, and diabetes. It’s important to teach your child healthy eating habits at a young age, and Halloween is a good opportunity to start.

Here are some tips for helping your child make healthy candy choices:

  • Talk to your child about the importance of eating healthy foods.
  • Explain that candy is a treat, and that it should be eaten in moderation.
  • Help your child choose healthier candy options, such as dark chocolate or sugar-free candy.
  • Serve candy with a meal or snack to help regulate blood sugar levels.
  • Offer your child other healthy snacks, such as fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.

By following these tips, you can help your child enjoy Halloween safely and healthily.

Celebrate Labor Day Safely: Cookout Safety Tips from Uncas Health District

father and son using the grill

Labor Day weekend is here, and many of us are eagerly looking forward to the last summer cookout of the season. Whether you’re firing up the grill or setting up a picnic, it’s crucial to keep safety in mind to ensure an enjoyable holiday for everyone. We’ve compiled essential tips to make your Labor Day cookout fun and safe. From food preparation to grilling and responsible drinking, here’s how you can have a fantastic and worry-free celebration.

  • Food Safety: Prevent Cross-Contamination and ensure proper cooking temperatures
  • Cleanliness is Key: Before preparing food, ensure that your hands, utensils, and cooking surfaces are clean. This minimizes the risk of cross-contamination and the spread of harmful bacteria.
  • Separate Raw and Cooked Foods: Keep raw meats and seafood away from ready-to-eat foods to avoid cross-contamination. Use separate cutting boards and utensils for raw and cooked items.
  • Cook Thoroughly: Use a food thermometer to ensure that meats, poultry, and seafood are cooked to the recommended internal temperatures. This kills any harmful bacteria present.
  • Avoid Partial Cooking: Pre-cooking items like chicken in the oven and finishing them on the grill can lead to uneven cooking and an increased risk of foodborne illnesses. Cook meat entirely on the grill or oven.
  • Chill Perishable Foods: Keep perishable foods like salads, dips, and mayonnaise-based dishes chilled until serving time.

father grilling with children

Grilling Safety: Prevent Accidents and Mishaps

  • Choose the Right Location: Set up your grill in an open area away from structures, overhanging branches, and other potential fire hazards. This prevents accidental fires and keeps everyone safe.
  • Supervise the Grill: Never leave the grill unattended, especially when children or pets are around. Assign a responsible adult to monitor the grill and ensure it’s used safely.
  • Keep a Safe Distance: Maintain a safe zone around the grill. Keep children, pets, and combustible materials at least three feet away to prevent burns and accidents.
  • Use Long-Handled Tools: Grilling tools with long handles help you stay a safe distance from the flames and heat. This reduces the risk of burns and ensures better control while cooking.

Drinking in Moderation: Enjoy Responsibly and Drive Sober

  • Moderation Matters: If you choose to drink alcohol, do so in moderation. Excessive alcohol consumption can impair your judgment and coordination, increasing the risk of accidents.
  • Stay Hydrated: Alongside alcoholic beverages, provide plenty of non-alcoholic options like water, flavored waters, or mocktails. Staying hydrated is essential, especially on a warm day.
  • Designated Drivers: If alcohol is part of your celebration, plan for a designated driver or alternate transportation. Never drink and drive, as it endangers your life and the lives of others on the road.

As you gear up for your Labor Day cookout, remember that safety should be your top priority. By following these food safety, grilling safety, and responsible drinking tips from Uncas Health District, you can create lasting memories without compromising anyone’s well-being. Have a fantastic and safe Labor Day celebration!

For more grilling safety tips from the Connecticut Department of Public Health, click here.

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