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Mobile Food Facilities, Fairs and 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.

How to Apply

  • 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”

Temporary Event vs. Temporary Food Facility Licensing

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

License Flow Chart

Commissary Requirements

  • 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