Licenses to Consider

Food Establishment Licenses

The NYSDAM Division of Food Safety and Inspection is responsible for the licensing and inspection of food establishments. These licenses are issued by the Division, are usually renewed every two years (except disposal and transportation licenses which are issued annually), and can be revoked by the Department for violations. The NYSDAM Division of Food Safety and Inspection may issue the following licenses for the following types of operations:

Article 20-C Food Processing Establishments

Retail food stores or commercial kitchens that conduct any type of food preparation such as meat or cheese grinding, heating foods, sandwich making, operate beverage-dispensing machines, prepare sushi, salad bars, or other ready to eat exposed food packaging activity.

Wholesale bakeries.

Wholesale food manufacturers of any product that is not under the jurisdiction of the USDA Federal Meat and Poultry Inspection Program or the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets Division of Milk Control.

Beverage plants that produce soft drinks, flavored waters, beer, wine, fruit juice, etc.

Article 28 Retail Food Stores

Any Retail Food Store within the State where food and food products are offered to the consumer and intended for off-premises consumption. As defined in Article 28, a retail food store does not include establishments that handle only pre-packaged, non-potentially hazardous foods, roadside markets that offer only fresh fruits and vegetables for sale, food service establishments, or food and beverage vending machines.

In addition, retail food stores licensed by the Department pursuant to Article 20-C (Food Processing Establishments) are exempt from licensure under this Article. area license is required if offering for sale potentially hazardous foods, which can include any of the following: milk, shell eggs, and refrigerated or frozen meats.

NOTE–Farmers who sell their own meat slaughtered, cut, processed, packaged and labeled under the appropriate inspection facility (5-A or USDA) do NOT need either an Article 28 or an Article 20-C license. However, if a farmer sells the product of another farmer then he or she will need this Article 28 license. If a farmer repackages his meat or further process federally inspected carcasses from animals he raised (for example, cut, debone, grind, or cure the meat products), then than farmer is operating as a commercial kitchen and needs a 20-C license.

Article 28 Food Warehouses

Any food warehouse facility within the State in which food is held for commercial distribution is considered a warehouse and must apply for this license.

Article 17-B Food Salvager

A business that receives distress or damaged food or food use products for reconditioning, culling, and or sorting for the purpose of resale of satisfactory products is considered a food salvager.

Article 19 Refrigerated Warehouse/Locker Plant

A facility that offers refrigerated storage space for rent in their building for the storage of food commodities or produce owned by other businesses is a refrigerated warehouse or food locker. The commodities being held must be lot coded and not held for over two years without approval for extended storage. Produce-only facilities pay a reduced license fee compared to other facilities.

Article 5-C Licensing of Rendering Plants

Disposal plants that process animals or inedible meat for other than human consumption require this license. In addition, businesses that operate a transportation service for transporting for hire unprocessed animal bodies or meat products not intended for human consumption.

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