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​Retail Food Facilities & Restaurants

Retail Food Facility Licenses are issued to:

    • Restaurants, Bars, Clubs, Food Auctions, Grocery Stores, Convenient Store, Beer Distributors, Schools, Caterers and similar public food facilities where food is sold or served directly to a consumer from a physical location or facility. 
    • All retailers are required to obtain a Retail Food Facility License PRIOR to operating a Retail Food Facility. This includes new facilities and change of ownerships for existing businesses. Licenses are non-transferable to another proprietor, new facility or location.

How to Apply:

All NEW Applicants

Change of Ownership


    • Currently licensed facilities MUST submit "Application Packet- Retail Food Facility- REMODEL" to the Department prior to any remodeling or significant changes to the service, equipment, or facilities. There is no fee for the plan review application process.
    • New owners who are also remodeling MUST submit BOTH applications listed above.

All material must be submitted at least 60 days prior to the preparation/sale of food from a retail food facility. Failure to provide all required information can delay and/or deny your plan review. Email is the preferred method of plan review submission.


Submit completed applications and requested documentation to:

or mail / fax to:

Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture

Bureau of Food Safety and Laboratory Services

Attn: Plan Review

2301 N. Cameron St, Room 112

Harrisburg, PA 17110

Fax: 717-787-1873

    • If your county is under a County Health Department Jurisdiction, you should contact them directly for licensing. These counties include Allegheny, Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Erie, Montgomery, and Philadelphia.
    • Do not send money with this application
    • Allow 4-6 weeks for processing  

If Approved:

    • You will receive an approval letter via email or mail
    • An inspector will schedule an on-site inspection of the facility
    • Upon a compliant inspection, your license fee will be collected, and a Retail Food Facility License issued

If not Approved:

    • You will be sent a letter describing why the plans were not approved.  Applicants are encouraged to re-submit the plans again with the corrected or requested information.

If inspection is not passed:

    • You will be provided with an inspection report stating your deficiencies.  When deficiencies are corrected, you can contact your inspector to request another inspection.
    • Renewal of Licenses – Renewal of licenses occurs annually with notification to proprietors approximately 45 days prior to the current expiration date.  Renewals can also be processed online with a user account and unique business code. If you do not receive a renewal application or know your business code, contact the department at 717-787-4315.
    • Lost/Duplicate License – Contact the department at 717-787-4315.


NEW retail food facility


NEW under 50 seats AND owner operated


Change of ownership


Annual renewals


Courtesy inspections


2nd follow-up inspection


3rd follow-up inspection


Duplicate license fee


Make checks payable to “Commonwealth of Pennsylvania”