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Tom Corbett, GovernorGeorge Greig, Secretary
Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture

Bureau of Food Safety and Laboratory Services

Description

Keeping Pennsylvania Growing means safe food and safe dining experiences. The Bureau of Food Safety and Laboratory Services plays a critical role in protecting Pennsylvanians and our visitors by regulating the tens of thousands of eating and drinking establishments, retail food stores, and food manufacturers found across the state to ensure compliance with food safety laws.  Across Pennsylvania the Bureau of Food Safety and Laboratory Services touches the lives of citizens from the farm to the fork, this includes services such as Good Agricultural Practices audits on farms, commodity inspections in processing facilities, and milk inspection services across the state.

Visit EatSafePA to learn more about standards for food safety, various programs and licensing or to search our easy-to-use food safety inspection database to learn how the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture is working hard each day to ensure you can eat safe in Pennsylvania.

In addition to its Retail Food Facility and manufacturing inspections the Bureau is also home to an active food safety laboratory where food products are sampled and tested to prevent and determine the cause of Foodborne illness outbreaks. The food safety laboratory is a part of the Federal Emergency Response Network, or FERN system, giving Pennsylvania access to information on local, state and national food-based threats or outbreaks.   

Understanding that food safety begins with informed choices, the Bureau's electronic reporting program provides consumers with real-time access to inspection reports for eating and drinking and retail food establishments from across the state. To access a facilities most recent food inspection results, click here to enter the Restaurant Inspection Database

An Act amending Title 3 (Agriculture), Act 106 of 2010, of the Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes, codifying the Public Eating and Drinking Place Law and the Food Act provides for the protection of public health and for regulations was recently signed by the Governor.  Among other things, this Act requires that any Local Health Department within the Commonwealth provide for inspections of ALL RETAIL food facilities within their jurisdiction using the PDA Food Code as the standard for inspection.  PA has over 150 Local Health jurisdictions. Agriculture will no longer license retail facilities in these areas but will continue to register and inspect warehousing, manufacturing and distribution establishments across the entire state.  For a listing of Local Health Departments click here .

Retail facilities currently located in Local Health jurisdictions currently licensed/inspected by the Bureau will eventually be contacted by their Local Health Department to set up licensing and inspection protocols under their jurisdiction. Proprietors located in a Local Health jurisdictions looking to open a NEW Retail Food Facility should also contact their Local Health Department directly to make application.  All other Retail Food Facilities located in the state will be licensed by PDA.  All agencies are making all attempts to make this transition process smooth. 

INFORMATION/APPLICATIONS/LICENSING

FOR SPECIFIC FOOD SAFETY PROGRAMS

Eating and Drinking Establishments (Restaurants, take-out, caterers, mobile units) OR other types of Retail Food Establishments (grocery stores, salvage dealers, retail sales of any food):  see the blue PROGRAMS bar below and select "Retail Food Facilities and Restaurants".

Manufacturing/processing or distribution/warehousing of foods: See the blue PROGRAMS bar below and select "Wholesale Food Processing, Manufacturing and Distribution"

Home Food Processing of non-potentially hazardous foods:  See the blue PROGRAMS bar below and select "Home Food Processors".

Dairy Products and manufacturing of dairy products:  See the blue PROGRAMS bar below and select "Milk Sanitation Program"

Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) program information:  See the blue PROGRAMS bar below and select "Egg, Fruit & Vegetable Inspection"

Other areas of interest can also be found under the PROGRAMS bar below; including, Seafood, PEQAP, Certificates of Free Sale, and Egg/Fruit and Vegetables. 

To view information concerning child labor requirements in Pennsylvania click the following link: 
Child Labor Bulletin 102   U.S. Department of Labor - Wage & Hour Division (WHD); Child Labor Requirements in Agricultural Occupations under the Fair Labor Standards Act.

CONSUMER FOOD SAFEY INFORMATION

AND FACT SHEETS

Consumers interesting in food safety information, including informational Fact Sheets, please see the blue PUBLICATIONS bar below.  A variety of food safety information can be found here.

For questions regarding food safety, call toll free at 1-866-366-3723.

To file an electronic complaint click here.

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