The retail food program covers all proprietors who serve food
and/or drinks directly to the consumer with or without charge.
- Retail Food Facilities and Restaurants: Bars, Clubs, Restaurants, Mobile Units, Food Auctions,Grocery Stores, Beer Distributors, Schools, Caterers and similar.
- Farmers Markets: Any farmers market stand/vendor with food or drink. This would include indoor or outdoor farmers markets or farmers market stands.
- Fairs and Other Temporary Events: Events lasting 14 days or less.
- Frozen Dessert: Production and service of frozen desserts such as soft serve ice cream, frozen yogurt, italian ice and similar.
- Food Employee Certifcation: Requirements for retail food facilities and approved courses.
- Specialized Processes & HACCP: Guidance documents for specialized processes and HACCP plans for retail food facilities.
LOCAL HEALTH DEPARTMENTS
Not all Retail Food
Facilities in Pennsylvania are under the jurisdiction of the PA Department of
Allegheny, Bucks, Chester, Erie, Montgomery, and Philadelphia have
county health departments that conduct retail inspections and licensing in
their jurisdictions. Some local municipalities, boroughs, townships, cities,
etc., also do their own inspection and licensing of retail food
Check Local Health Departments to see if your facility
is, or will be, located in a Local Health jurisdiction. You should contact your local health
department for assistance with licensing in these jurisdictions.
EXEMPTIONS TO RETAIL FOOD LICENSING (PDA EXEMPTION
A facility is exempt from having to obtain a Retail Food Facility
- The facility is located within PDA jurisdiction as the licensor.
The exemption does not necessarily apply to facilities operating in Local
- The retail food facility is one of the following:
on no more than three (3) days per calendar year.
- Food bank owned by a charitable nonprofit entity and operated
for charitable or religious purposes.
kitchen owned by a charitable nonprofit entity and operated for charitable or
nonprofit entity established to promote and encourage participation or support
for extra- curricular recreational activities for youth.
only prepackaged, shelf stable (non-TCS) foods or beverages (ex: canned soda,
packaged chips, candy).
or beverages sold only through a vending machine.
- Sells only raw agricultural commodities (unprocessed, not
A retail food facility that is exempt from the license requirements
under the Act is exempt from the licensure requirement only, and remains
subject to inspection and all other provisions of the Act.