Skip to main content

Permits, violations & licenses

Take a food safety certification course

Food businesses in Philadelphia must have an employee certified in food safety present whenever they are operating, whether or not the business is open to the public.

These designated employees, often referred to as the Person In Charge or PIC, must complete a food safety course with an approved provider and receive an official City of Philadelphia food safety personnel certificate.

The original certificate must be posted at the food business where customers can see it. During a health inspection, your food safety-certified person, or Person in Charge, will be asked to show a valid photo ID to the health inspector. The name on the certificate must match the name on the photo ID. The certified person, or PIC, will also be asked to answer a series of questions to show a good understanding of food safety.

Certifications are valid for five years, after which the employee must complete and pass another food safety course approved by the Department of Public Health.


Take a food safety manager course and pass the proctored exam. You can take courses in English, Spanish, Mandarin, or Korean.

Where and when

Environmental Health Services (EHS) has walk-in office hours Monday – Friday, 9 a.m. – 1 p.m., and by appointment.

Environmental Health Services
7801 Essington Avenue
Philadelphia, PA 19153

All EHS services are also available via phone or virtually. This includes services such as Plan Review, Change of Ownership, Permit Applications, and Food Safety Certification.

Please call (215) 685-7495 to ask questions, make an in-person appointment, request a virtual consultation, coordinate payment, and submit an application.


Your first certificate costs $30. A replacement certificate is $50.

Fees are nonrefundable.


After you have completed the course, you will receive a course certificate. To apply for the City of Philadelphia food safety certification, you must send in:

  • The City of Philadelphia food safety certification application form. If you are requesting a replacement certificate, the application must include a statement of the reason why you need a replacement certificate.
  • A copy of your course certificate.
  • A money order made out to Philadelphia Health Dept. – EHS. Money orders cannot be older than 30 days.

Be sure to register for a food safety course early and submit the required materials to the Department of Public Health as soon as you have completed the course. It can take up to 30 business days for the Department of Public Health to mail you a City of Philadelphia food safety certificate.