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PA Bulletin, Doc. No. 16-787



Licensure of Retail Food Facilities Order


[46 Pa.B. 2322]
[Saturday, May 7, 2016]

 A. The Retail Food Facility Safety Act (Act) (3 Pa.C.S.A. §§ 5701—5714) prescribes standards, responsi- bilities and requirements relating to the licensure, inspection and safe operation of retail food facilities within the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

 B. The Act (at 3 Pa.C.S.A. § 5702) designates the Department of Agriculture (Department) as a ''licensor'' of certain retail food facilities that are not licensed by designated county health departments or other local health departments or health authorities.

 C. The Act (at 3 Pa.C.S.A. § 5703(b)) affords licensors of retail food facilities discretion to exempt certain specified types of retail food facilities from having to obtain a license. Where the licensor is the Department, the exemption must be accomplished by Order of the Secretary, published in the Pennsylvania Bulletin.

 D. It is the intention of the Department to exempt certain types of retail food facilities from the licensure requirements of the Act.


 Under authority of the Act (at 3 Pa.C.S.A. § 5703(b)), and with the foregoing recitals incorporated into this Order, the Department hereby orders the following:

 1. A retail food facility is exempt from having to obtain the retail food facility license required under the Act (at 3 Pa.C.S.A. § 5703(a)) if both of the following are accurate:

 a. The Department would otherwise be the licensor under the Act with respect to that food facility.

 b. The food facility is one of the following, as described in the Act at 3 Pa.C.S.A. § 5703(b)(1)(i)—(vi):

 i. A food bank owned by a charitable nonprofit entity and operated for charitable or religious purposes.

 ii. A soup kitchen owned by a charitable nonprofit entity and operated for charitable or religious purposes. (This includes a charitable nonprofit entity that delivers meals to third parties for charitable or religious purposes, common examples of which include meals-on-wheels programs and church operations that deliver meals to shut-ins.)

 iii. A retail food facility that operates on no more than three days each calendar year.

 iv. A school cafeteria.

 v. A retail food facility that is owned by a charitable nonprofit entity, that does not operate for more than three consecutive days at a single event, and that is one or more of the following:

 A. Managed by an organization which is established to promote and encourage participation or support for extra- curricular recreational activities for youth of primary and secondary public, private and parochial school systems on a not-for-profit basis. This subparagraph does not apply to organized camps.

 B. Offers only foods that are nonpotentially hazardous foods or beverages.

 vi. A retail food facility in which food or beverages are sold only through a vending machine.

 2. A retail food facility that seeks to be exempt from licensure under this Order shall provide the Department whatever reasonable documentation or verification the Department requests in order to confirm that it is an entity that is qualified for the licensure exemption described above. The burden of proof that a retail food facility is exempt under this Order shall rest on the retail food facility seeking the exemption.

 3. The Department provides general notice that two additional types of retail food facilities are exempt from having to obtain the retail food facility license required under the Act (at 3 Pa.C.S.A. § 5703(a)). These food establishments are specifically exempted from licensure under the Act (at 3 Pa.C.S.A. § 5703(b)(2)), rather than under this Order. They include the following:

 a. A retail food facility in which only prepackaged, nonpotentially hazardous food or beverages are sold.

 b. A retail food facility that sells only raw agricultural commodities.

 4. A retail food facility that is exempted from the license requirements under the Act is exempt from the licensure requirement only, and remains subject to inspection and all other provisions of the Act and its attendant regulations.

 5. This Order terminates and supplants the Department's January 22, 2011 Order on this same subject matter, which was published in the January 22, 2011 edition of the Pennsylvania Bulletin, at 41 Pa.B. 524.

 6. This Order shall take effect as of May 7, 2016, and shall remain in effect until terminated by subsequent order.


[Pa.B. Doc. No. 16-787. Filed for public inspection May 6, 2016, 9:00 a.m.]

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