Health and Human Services
Bucks County Health Department
-- Main --Bureau of Personal Health and Public Health Preparedness -- Bureau of Environmental Health --
Bureau of Environmental Health
Retail Food Facility Safety and Security Program
Program Overview - This program applies to all retail food facilities in Bucks County (see examples of retail food facility types below). This program was expanded in 2011 by Act 106 of 2010 (Retail Food Facility Safety Act, C.S. Chapter 57, Subchapter A & B, effective date 1/22/2011). All these food facilities will now be classified as a “Retail Food Facility” and are now under the jurisdiction of this Department instead of the PA Department of Agriculture (PDA) (http://www.eatsafepa.com). Dennis J. Bauer, M.S., R.S., S.E.O,
Administration & Field Activities
The Department administers this Program through its "Bucks County Department of Health Rules
and Regulations For Conducting and Operating Food Facilities".
These food safety regulations were effective November 5, 2008 and model the present PA Department of Agriculture Food Code, Chapter 46, of 2003. The present FDA Model Food Code will be utilized in the future as food safety standards once adopted by the PDA in accordance to law (Act 106).
A field office supervisor, supported by Environmental Protection
Specialists (EPSs), manages the Retail Food Facility Safety and Security Program.
Food Safety Inspections and Licensure
The Department licenses and inspects all food facilities, such as but not limited to, eating and drinking facilities, cafeterias, organized camp kitchens, snack bars, bars, taverns, retail bakeries, caterers, mobile food units and their mobile food unit service commissaries, supermarkets, grocery stores, retail kitchens, nursing home kitchens, other institution kitchens, school cafeterias, commercial stores/stands selling potentially hazardous foods/drinks or un-packaged foods, farm/flea market stands selling potentially hazardous foods/drinks or un-packaged foods (intact fruits and vegetables are exempt from licensing), and temporary food event facilities operating 2 or more days per year.
Certain types of retail food facilities (some non-profit/charitable organizations) are exempt from licensing under Act 106. Please contact the Department if you have a question as to whether your retail food facility requires a food license from this Department. It should be noted that all retail food facilities (licensed or license exempt) are still subject to Department inspection and compliance with the food safety requirements in accordance with Act 106.
In order to help ensure proper food safety practices within the facility, the Department also has a Certified Food Safety Manager Program (see below). This program was not affected by Act 106 of 2010 and remains intact and unchanged.
All licensed retail food facilities are required to be inspected at least annually. Food inspection results are posted on the County web site for public viewing as required by law, and can be viewed at http://bucks.pa.gegov.com/bucks/. In the future, inspection reports will also be posted on the PA Department of Agriculture food safety web site (http://www.eatsafepa.com/) as required by Act 106. Food licenses are not transferable between owners. More frequent inspections are conducted as warranted based upon the retail food facility risk category, in response to a consumer complaint or reported foodborne/waterborne illnesses. Inspections are made in order to audit the operator’s proper food safety techniques used during preparation, handling, storage, and service of foods/drinks to the consumer.
Wholesale food facilities, food storage warehouses, food processors, wholesale bakeries and home food processors continue to be regulated by the PA Department of Agriculture (Region 7 Office at 610-489-1003) or http://www.eatsafepa.com/.
In addition, the Department offers guidelines (form SA-109) to retail food facility operators regarding food security practices and recommendations in support of the Department's Bio-Terrorism and Agro-Terrorism program. Food safety seminars are available to food facility operators and the public upon request.
Forms for New Retail Food Facilities and Changes of Ownership
Food Facilities with a new owner/change in ownership, require filing of these forms:
- "Bucks County Department of Health Application for License to Conduct and Operate a Food Facility" (form SA-13. 05/10)
- "Bucks County Department of Health Plan Review Application for Food Facilities"(form SA-86. 04/05), with attachments.
- "Food Facilities Fee Schedule" (ADM-71). *For further information contact the nearest District Office.
- "Food Safety Guidelines for Food Vendors at Farm/Flea Markets" (form SA-138)
- "Farm/Flea Market Application" (form SA-140)
Food License Renewals:
- License renewal requires the completion of form (SA-13R,05/10) “Bucks County Department of Health Application for Renewal of License to Conduct and Operate a Food Facility” prior to the expiration of your food facility license. The renewal form should have been mailed to you 60 days prior to the expiration date. If you did not receive or have misplaced the renewal form, please contact the nearest Health Department District Office in order to obtain another copy for completion and submission for your food license renewal.
Temporary Retail Food Facilities
The Department licenses and inspects temporary food facilities operating within the County. A temporary food facility is one that operates at a fixed location for a period of only 2 -14 days per year in conjunction with a single event. A license for such facilities requires completing the form below and a satisfactory inspection by the Department:
- "Bucks County Department of Health Application for License to Conduct a Temporary Food Operation" (form SA-13T).
- Guidelines for the Operation of Temporary Food Service Facilities By Charitable Or Non-Profit Organizations (handout SA-76).
Food Safety Manager Certification Program
The Food Safety Manager Certification Program (CFSM) is conducted in conjunction with licensing of retail food facilities and aims to ensure that all licensed retail food facilities employ at least one full-time certified manager for all hours of operation and/or food/drink preparation.Effective January 1, 2013, this Department will require the applicant to take and pass current Conference for Food Preparation approval exam. The new BCDH certification will be effective for 5 years instead of the current 3 year period. Current certificates are valid until their expiration date then the new rule takes effect.
- "Bucks County Department of Health Division of Environmental Sanitation Application for a Certified Food Safety Manager Certificate" ( form SA-71) for new and renewal certificates.
- Note: A Certified Food Safety Manager Course Instructor List is available. Contact the nearest District Office for this list.
Please telephone the nearest District Office for licensing information, scheduling inspections, filing a complaint, reporting an alleged foodborne/waterborne illness or for information on the Food Safety Manager Certification Program. “
*Food Facilities Rules and Regulations
SA-138 Farm/Flea Market Licensing Requirements
SA-139 Farm/Flea Market Plan Review
SA-140 Farm/Flea Market Application
*SA-113 & 113A: Integrated Pest Management Flyer