Food Licenses Law and Legal Definition

State and local laws, which vary by jurisdiction, govern the licensing of certain food vendors and establishments. A food establishment license is typically required in almost all instances where food is commercially handled or served to the general public. Even the giving of food to the general public may be included. Licensing may also be required of any person or firm that processes, packs, cans, preserves, freezes, fabricates, stores, prepares, serves, sells, or offers food for sale. Certain license exemptions may apply for those selling low-risk items.

Some of the requirements, among others, for issuing a food license may include:

  • Approved hand washing facilities: approved sink, hand soap and water supply for that purpose.
  • All hot food must me held in electric or gas powered devices designed expressly for the purpose of holding hot foods at or above 140 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • All cold food holding devices must provide adequate cooling for all foods to be maintained at or below 45 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Cold food holding devices shall not be overfilled so as to prevent proper air circulation.
  • All shellfish handlers must have documentation of the source of the shellfish stock.
  • Adequate provisions must be maintained for the proper washing and sanitation of food preparation utensils.

Local laws should be consulted for the exact requirements in your area.