Food Establishment Personnel
Application For Food Safety Certificate

Instructions and On-Line Application for a Philadelphia Food Safety Certificate

Food safety is an important responsibility of every food business. That is why the Philadelphia Department of Public Health will work with you to ensure your personnel have appropriate food safety knowledge and your facilities have the capacity to operate safely. Food poisoning can be very serious, yet it is often underreported. It impacts one in six people annually in the U.S. Most people will recover without any lasting effects from their illness. However, for some the effects can be devastating and even deadly. Serious long‐term effects associated with common types of food poisoning include: kidney failure, chronic arthritis, brain and nerve damage and death. Most commonly, food can become contaminated from poor sanitation, improper preparation, or storage at the wrong temperature. You can find out more about foodborne illnesses at

Food businesses must have an employee certified in food safety present at all times, whether or not they are open to consumers. Businesses selling only prepackaged, non‐hazardous foods are exempt from this requirement. These designated employees, often referred to as the Person In Charge or PIC, must complete a food safety course that is approved by the Philadelphia Department of Public Health and obtain an official City of Philadelphia Food Safety Personnel Certificate. The Certificate must be posted at the food business where customers can view it. Certifications are valid for five years, after which the employee must complete and pass another food safety course approved by the Philadelphia Department of Public Health.

Apply for the City’s Food Safety Certificate

Take a food safety course with an approved Food Safety Course Provider (16 hours of instruction) and receive a course certificate. In addition to English, courses are offered in Spanish, Mandarin, and Korean.

Philadelphia food safety certificates can be applied for in person, by mail, or on-line.

Use this website to apply for the City’s Food Safety Certificate. You will need an email address, credit card (or eCheck), and the course certificate. Select the Application button and complete the forms. The website will generate a receipt for your proof of submitting an application and making the payment.

Processing the food safety certification applications can take the Philadelphia Department of Public Health 30 business days. You can select whether to receive the certificate by mail or to pick it up. You must post the certificate at the food business where customers can view it.

Apply for a Replacement City’s Food Safety Certificate

You can also use this website to apply for a replacement food safety certificate. Select the Application button, then select replacement, and complete the form. The website will email you a message, open it, and click the “Here” link. Complete the displayed form and proceed to the payment page.