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mobile food facilities, Fairs and other temporary events

Mobile food facility licenses are issued to:

  • Mobile units including food trucks, stick stands, carts, and other similar structures that are mobile/transitory by design from which food is stored, prepared, processed, distributed or sold.
  • Mobile food facilities physically located at one site or location for no more than 14 consecutive days, whether operating continuously or not during this time. 
  • A food facility that is physically located at any one site for more than 14 consecutive days shall not be considered a mobile food facility.  

Temporary licenses are issued to one of the following:

  • Temporary Event License
    • Retail Food Facility operating for no more than 14 days in duration, whether consecutive or non-consecutive, in a fixed location and in conjunction with an event or celebration
    • Temporary events may include fairs, carnivals, festivals, or other similar temporary events
    • A temporary event license is specific to an event. The Law does not limit the number of Temporary Event Licenses one proprietor may apply for in a calendar year.

  • Temporary Food Facility License
    • Retail Food Facility, stationary or mobile, operating for no more than 14 days per                     calendar year, and not in conjunction with an event or celebration 
    • Temporary food facilities may include churches, firehalls, or sportsman clubs 
    • Temporary Food Facility Licenses are renewed yearly and valid for operation up to 14                days per calendar year. Only one Temporary Food Facility License per year may be                  issued to a retail food facility.


  • SEE FORMS (on right) – download, print and submit the application appropriate to your                   operation:
    • Mobile Food Facilities (food trucks, stick stands, carts, and other similar                             structures that are mobile/transitory by design) – Application Packet – Mobile Food           Facilities 
    • Non-mobile Food Facilities (churches, firehalls, and other structures with permanent         water and sewage connections) –  Application Packet – Temporary License Non-              Mobile
  • Submit application via mail or fax to the appropriate Regional Office as listed on the application
  • Allow 4-6 weeks for processing 

Temporary Retail Food License-$14
Make checks payable to “Commonwealth of Pennsylvania”

Use the flow chart below to determine the appropriate application packet that must be submitted to the Department for licensure.

License Flow Chart


  • Commissary means an operating base location to which a mobile food facility returns daily for vehicle and equipment cleaning, discharging liquid or solid wastes, refilling water tanks and ice bins, and storing food. 
  • A commissary may not be a residential personal use kitchen and MUST be SEPARATED from private residential use areas.
  •  For more information on mobile food facilities and commissary requirements, SEE PUBLICATIONS – Mobile Food Facility Operation Guide