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Tom Corbett, GovernorGeorge Greig, Secretary
Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture

Home Food Processing

Establishments under this program would include, a personal home kitchen used or operated for the purpose of commercially storing, packaging, making, cooking, mixing, processing, bottling, baking, canning, or otherwise preparing or handling NON-POTENTIALLY HAZARDOUS FOODS, regardless of whether the food is wholesaled or retailed from the home location. 

Proprietors intending to operate a home food processor operation must apply for a Food Registration prior to operation. Processors registered with the department can state "Reg. Penna. Dept. of Agr." on their product labeling. Only PDA registered establishments may use this statement. Home Food Processors are regulated under Act 106 of 2010 (3 C.S §§5701 et.al.)  which by reference incorporates all regulations in the Code of Federal Regulations relating to food.

Most federal regulations relating to food are found in Title 21 of the federal code. The only exception to registration is those firms operating solely under milk or milk product permits.

Fees:  Home Food Processors registered with the Department will pay a $35 fee at the time of the inspections and will renew their registration annually.

How to Apply:

Home Food Processors: Anyone wishing to prepare food from home must fill out a completed "Home Food Processors Application" found below in the "Forms" section.  Because only limited types of food may be prepared from the home and in some cases laboratory testing of the product must occur, it is necessary to closely evaluate these businesses.  It may additionally be necessary for those facilities wishing to sell their products interstate to register with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). 

The home processor plan review application must be submitted to the department as soon as possible. There is no money required for the Plan Review process.

  • This application will be reviewed by an assigned food sanitarian for accuracy and compliance with the appropriate laws and regulations.
  • If the Plan is approved the applicant will be sent a plan review approval letter via U.S. Postal Service. This letter will instruct the applicant to prepare the food establishment as described in the plans and to contact the appropriate regional office to schedule an on-site inspection of the establishment
  • If the plan is disapproved the applicant will be sent a plan review disapproval letter via USPS that describes why the plans were disapproved. Applicants are encouraged to re-submit the plans again with the corrected or requested information.
  • At your on-site inspection, your food sanitarian will conduct a thorough inspection of your establishment and its compliance with the appropriate laws and regulations.
  • Should your establishment pass this inspection a registration fee will be collected. Check or money orders only made payable to "Commonwealth of Pennsylvania" for $35.
  • If your establishment does not pass the inspection, you will be provided with an inspection report stating your deficiencies. When deficiencies are corrected you can contact your food sanitarian to request another inspection. 

Renewal:  Once registered with the department, a renewal application for your registration will sent annually via USPS approximately 45 days prior to expiration of the current registration. If you have lost your current registration and need replacement or your renewal application was lost or not received, please contact a licensing clerk at 717-787-4315 for assistance

Other Links: Code of Federal Regulations

Contact

Sheri Morris
Program Manager
(717) 787-5289
 

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