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Food Safety

Food Safety is an important area for every single person in Pennsylvania. Every year, one in six Americans suffers from a food-related illness. Preventing food-borne illnesses will improve public health and avoid the costly disruptions of the food supply system caused by illness outbreaks.

The mission of the Bureau of Food Safety and Laboratory Services is to protect and keep food safe, from the farm to the fork, by educating, regulating and ensuring compliance with food safety laws and regulations.  The Bureau has several divisions where each provides important oversight to the production and service of safe food. 

Certify My Restaurant

Self-certification is an optional program by which you can reassure your employees and customers that you are adhering to all appropriate guidance. Self-certification does NOT impose additional obligations or result in additional inspections; rather, business operators who self-certify have taken the additional step of confirming their dedication to protecting their employees and customers from COVID-19, and thus may increase their occupancy to 50 percent.

It's free to join the program and enrollment is voluntary. Participating restaurants will receive:

    • A listing on the searchable public Open & Certified PA Business Directory
    • Permission to increase indoor dining from 25% to 50% occupancy
    • Free Open & Certified Pennsylvania signs for your physical location, website, and social media channels
    • Timely updates, reminders, and alerts for new business guidance and resources

The self-certification form is now available. To complete the form, you must:

    • Read the full requirements (also available in Spanish) for self-certification included in the form
    • Agree to comply with all requirements
    • Provide your maximum indoor occupancy based on the fire code
    • Confirm your information is correct (false information can result in penalties on the grounds of unsworn falsification to authorities)

Owners should keep a copy of the self-certification confirmation they will receive by e-mail. For questions about the Open and Certified Pennsylvania program, read the Frequently Asked Questions or email covidselfcert@pa.gov.


Explore the links below to learn more about our programs.