Tom Corbett, GovernorGeorge Greig, Secretary
Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture

Fair and Other Temporary License Facilities

Temporary License - Only three temporary licenses can be issued to one proprietor in any given calendar year. Temporary licenses are only valid as described below. If a proprietor intends to sell at more than three events in a calendar year or for over 14 calendar days at the same location in a calendar year, they must obtain a permanent license. 

 Requirements for a temporary license are valid as such:

(i) A license that is the following:

  • (A) Issued to the operator of a temporary food facility (TFF)
  • (B) Valid for the duration of a particular event or celebration (such as a fair or carnival) of no more than 14 days duration (whether these days are consecutive or nonconsecutive)
  • (C) Issued to the operator with respect to no more than (3) three events or celebrations in a particular calendar year   

(ii) A license that is the following:

  • (A) Issued to a food facility operator operating a food facility, whether stationary or mobile
  • (B) In operation for a total of no more than 14 days within a particular calendar year
  • (C) Not in conjunction with an event or celebration

A Temporary Food Facility , or TFF, is a food facility that operates for a period of no more than 14 consecutive days in a fixed location and in conjunction with a single event or celebration (such as a fair, festival, carnival or other transitory gathering).  

A TFF or Fair Vendor must obtain a Public Eating and Drinking Places License (or) a Food Establishment Registration prior to operating a retail food facility. A Temporary Food Facility or fair vendor can apply for either a temporary or permanent license with the department.  Regardless of whether a proprietor obtains a temporary or permanent license/registration, the Food Code, Chapter 46, has specific exemptions for those facilities defined as Temporary Food Facilities. Licenses and registrations are non transferable to another proprietor or a new facility or location. 

Permanent License - Since only three temporary food licenses can be issued within a calendar year, a facility that wishes to operate at more then 3 events/ celebrations within a year or more then 14 calendar days is required to obtain a permanent license and meet permanent standard with exceptions made for event status.  To obtain a permanent license fill out a "Retail Food Facility Permanent License/Registration Application and Plan Review"

Other Links: Code of Federal Regulations


Melissa Vaccaro
Program Specialist
(717) 787-5108

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