Special Transitory Food Units (STFU)

A Special Transitory Food Unit (STFU) is a food service operation that serves a limited menu from an enclosed trailer or other approved layout. Once licensed, an STFU can operate throughout the State of Michigan.

Special Transitory Food Unit

Requirements to Operate a Special Transitory Food Unit (STFU)

Although each operation is unique, there are some basic items that are required for permanent outdoor food service like an STFU. Read more in this helpful document (PDF).

  • An STFU must submit a plan review packet, including a plan review application, fee, menu, standard operating procedures, drawing/photos/layout of trailer, equipment specification sheets, and any other applicable items listed below.
  • An STFU must have the equipment and resources to ensure food safety for its menu and operation. This typically includes items such as running water to wash hands and equipment/utensils, a method to sanitize equipment surfaces, a metal stem thermometer, methods of hot and cold holding of foods, and a method of covering and protecting food from customers and the elements.
  • An STFU must have the unit’s name and operator’s city on each side of the exterior in letters at least 3 inches high.
  • A licensed STFU may operate in any jurisdiction in Michigan. The STFU must submit an STFU Notification of Intent to Operate (PDF) form to the local health department, notifying the department where it will be operating.
  • Once licensed, an STFU must have two paid inspections each year. These inspections may be conducted by any local health department in Michigan. The STFU operator must request an inspection on the STFU Notification of Intent to Operate (PDF) form and pay the local health department for the inspection.

Items Required for Special Transitory Food Unit (STFU) Plan Review

Submit the following completed materials to Washtenaw County Environmental Health. Most of the documents are Word documents that you can open, type your information into, and then print and submit to our office.

See the Plan Submittal Instructions (PDF) for helpful information.

  1. STFU Plan Review Application and Fee (PDF)
  2. STFU Plan Review Worksheet and Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs)
  3. Drawing/Photos/Layout of the Trailer and Equipment Specification Sheets
  4. Menu
    • Submit your proposed menu. Remember to include a Consumer Advisory (PDF) if you are serving any raw or undercooked meats, seafood or eggs.
  5. Certified Food Safety Manager Certificate
    • Food Service establishments must have at least one certified food managerial employee on the working staff at each location. Washtenaw County offers ServSafe certification courses, the class designed by the National Restaurant Association.

More Information

If you have any questions, please contact Washtenaw County Environmental Health at 734-222-3800. We are more than happy to help guide you through this process.