Planning to attend eclipse events? Look for the license!

The April 8 total solar eclipse is expected to bring a large number of people to Mercer County and neighboring counties, as we are situated near the center of the path of totality or the prime viewing area. To accommodate the expected influx of people on the day of the eclipse and the weekend before, there will likely be many temporary food stands and even some temporary camping areas available. 

If you are visiting the area to observe the eclipse and participate in the festivities, remember to look for the license when visiting food stands or camping areas. Each of these establishments should have a license demonstrating that they have met all applicable health regulation requirements and are operating in a way that will protect your health and the health of your family. 

If you plan to sell food or campsites temporarily during the eclipse, here are some things to consider:

Temporary Food Service Requirements:

  • Applications due at least 7 days before the event.  (application / guidance plan sheet attached)
  • $50.00 per event
  • Need provisions for hot water, handwashing and utensil washing.
  • Cold and/or hot food holding capabilities (iced coolers, refrigeration, hot plates, roasters, etc…)
  • Cooking equipment appropriate for proposed menu
  • gloves, food thermometers, sanitizer for utensils, handsoap / paper towels, hair restraints
  • Proper storage of single use articles (paper plates, napkins, plastic silverware).

Temporary Camping Requirements:

  • A campground is defined as 5 or more RV’s or camping units on a property for no more than 7 consecutive days.  The arrangement is that the spaces are obtained for “lease or other contract”.
  • Plans for a temporary campground are needed at least 15 days prior to opening.  (I have attached the application / paperwork)
  • Plans must include a letter from the local fire department having authority in the location of the temporary campground. 
  • Plans should show that each site be at least 1,000 square feet, marked and identified
  • Water supply not required, but if provided, must be a public water system or private system that has been inspected (we would need to look at and sample)
  • Sewage disposal to be completely contained – no dumping onto the ground of either black or grey water.  An arrangement is to be made with a septage hauler / pumper to remove contents of holding tanks, if need be.
  • Solid waste containment provisions- containers with lids.
  • Fire fighting equipment to be provided in the form of extinguishers
  • Sign making location of emergency phone known
  • First Aid Kit
  • Rules posted.
  • Toilet facilities – #’s dependent on how many sites requested.  (note:  portable toilets may be difficult to find!)
  • License to operate needed 7 days before event.  $50.00 for 50 or fewer sites; $50.00 + $1.25 per site for over 50 sites.  (application attached).

If you have questions or would like more information about obtaining a license to sell food or campsites during the eclipse events, please contact Mercer County Health District’s Environmental Health Division at 419-586-3251 or take a look at the resources below.

Temporary Food Service Operation or Retail Food Establishment Packet

Ohio Department of Health Solar Eclipse Food Safety Guidance

Temporary Camp Planning Guidance

Temporary Camp License Application

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