Pennsylvania Department of Health Food Cart License

Pennsylvania Department of Health Food Cart License Information

Health code regulations are dictated by local Pennsylvania County Health Departments and as a result, they vary across the state of Pennsylvania. In addition to determining what types of foods are allowed to be served, these local health departments may dictate what equipment should be installed on a hot dog cart or any food cart.

For instance, here is the Minimum Construction and Equipment Requirements for a mobile food cart in Allegheny County:

Mobile Food Unit/ Commissary

Minimum Construction and Equipment Requirements

The following provides guidance on the minimum construction and equipment requirements for obtaining a health permit for a mobile food vending operation in Allegheny County.

Required commercial food service equipment, refrigeration and utensils must conform to National Sanitation Foundation (NSF) Standards or equivalent. The NSF Standards are available for review at the Food Safety Program office.

MOBILE FOOD UNIT

The mobile food unit is a self-contained, limited service food facility which is a mechanically, electrically, manually, or otherwise propelled vehicle operating on land or water. Materials used in construction should provide finishes that are smooth, non-absorbent, easily cleaned and durable. Overhead coverage is required and should provide adequate protection. Permanently fixed artificial light sources should be shielded and provide at least 20 foot candles of light.

(1) If food or beverages are prepared on the vehicle, the following are required:

• Utensil Washing – The appropriate sinks are required on the vehicle if the sinks are not located at the commissary:

o For potentially hazardous foods: a 3-bowl sink with attached drain boards or a commercial dishwasher with an approved 2-bowl sink and attached drain board

o For non-potentially hazardous foods: a 2-bowl sink with attached drain boards

o For coffee only (excluding cappuccino): a 1-bowl sink with attached drain board

• Cooking and hot holding equipment

• A hand washing sink

• Food preparation tables and utensils

• Refrigeration

• Sneeze protection for prepared foods while on display

• Shelving to store food and utensils at least 6 inches off of the floor

• An exhaust system installed for grease-type cooking, unless the unit is a push-cart; The exhaust system must conform to the current National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) Code

• Hot and cold running water from a protected, potable water system under pressure; A Waste retention tank 15% larger than water supply tank (see “Article III” for details)

(2) If only pre-packaged foods are available on the vehicle the following are required:

• Refrigeration for potentially hazardous cold foods

• Hot-holding equipment for potentially hazardous hot foods

• Shelving to store food and utensils at least 6 inches off of the floor

• Moist towelettes with a disinfectant for periodic hand cleaning

COMMISSARY

A mobile food unit must operate from a commissary or other fixed food facility. The unit shall report daily to such location for all food and supplies, and then again for all cleaning, servicing operations and waste disposal. The commissary must retain a current and valid health permit. A separate and dedicated area is required if the commissary is located in a residence.

The following is required, based upon proposed menu:

• An approved water source to supply the mobile food unit via a dedicated potable water hose

• Utensil washing:

o For potentially hazardous foods: a 3-bowl sink with attached drain boards or a commercial dishwasher with an approved 2-bowl sink and attached drain boards

o For non-potentially hazardous foods: a 2-bowl sink with attached drain boards

o For coffee only (excluding cappuccino): a 1-bowl sink with attached drain board

• Designated food preparation sink(s) with indirect waste line(s)

• Refrigeration

• Cooking and hot-holding equipment

• Ventilation:

o An exhaust system installed for grease-type cooking with an approved source of make-up air; The exhaust system must conform to the current National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) Code

o Adequate ventilation to prevent excessive steam, heat, vapor, condensation, etc.

• A hand washing sink in each food preparation area

• Food preparation tables and utensils

• A mop sink located within the facility (This may be one’s laundry tray if the commissary is located in a residence)

• Shelving to store food and utensils at least 6 inches off of the floo

• Employee restroom(s) (This may be one’s home toilet room if the commissary is located in a residence)

• A safe and approved means for disposal of sewage from the mobile food unit

• Permanently fixed artificial light sources that are shielded and provide at least 20 foot candles of light

• Smooth, non-absorbent, durable, and easily cleaned floors, walls, and ceiling

 

  • State of Pennsylvania Department of Health Link

State of Pennsylvania Department of Health

  • Retail Food Safety

Retail Foodservice Food-Safety Consortium

  • Pennsylvania County Health Departments Reference Map

 

Pennsylvania Hot Dog Cart Department of Health Food Stand License

Pennsylvania Department of Health Food Cart License


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