Andrew M. Cuomo, Governor | Richard A. Ball, Commissioner

Food Establishment Licenses

The Division of Food Safety and Inspection is responsible for the licensing and inspection of food establishments operating in the following capacities:

The terms “food” and “food product” shall include ALL articles of food, drink, confectionery or condiment, whether simple, mixed or compound, used or intended for use by humans or animals, and shall also include ALL substances or ingredients to be added to food for any purpose. This definition shall be construed as including chewing gum.

If you need assistance, please call 800-554-4501.

Food Processor

If I process one of the foods below; I need a 20-C license. A Food Service Operation (such as a restaurant, café, pizza shop), contact your local health department.

  • Cooking, boiling, broiling, frying, grilling, freezing, drying, roasting, heating or reheating food
  • Mincing/Grinding/Slicing/Curing/Brining - meat, cheese, fish, vegetables, fruit, bagels, bread etc
  • Use of a cappuccino machine
  • Baking
  • Preserving - fruits or vegetables - jams, jellies, chutneys, salsa, sauces, etc
  • Canning or Pickling - fruits, vegetables, meats, etc
  • Bottling - Oils, Drinks (shakes, juices, coffee, teas, apple cider, etc)
  • Repacking uncooked foods, ready-to-eat foods, salads, fruit, dried fruit, vegetables, cereals, granola, nuts, yoghurt cups, etc
  • Preparing ready-to-eat salads: tuna, chicken, egg, mixed foods, meats and pasta dishes, etc
  • Smoking: fish, meat and meat products, cheeses, etc
  • Pickling or Marinating: fish, herrings, meat, poultry, vegetables, cabbage, fruit, olives
  • Dehydrating: fruit, vegetables, beef, chicken, pork, fish, herbs and spices
  • Catering: off-site service of foods prepared at establishment (Note: off-site preparation may require local Health department permit)
  • Freezing: frozen dessert machine, ice cream, yogurt, slush, ice milk, shaved Ice, serving dish or cone hard ice cream, retail ice production and packaging
  • Article 20-C Food Processing Establishment:

    Who's Required:

    Food manufactures, processing plants, wholesale bakeries and retail food establishments (i.e., grocery stores) that conduct any type of food preparation including but not limited to, meat and cheese slicing, heating foods, sandwich making, operating beverage dispensing machines, and preparing sushi, salad bars, or other ready to eat exposed food packaging activity.

    Application: Food Processing Establishment


    Description of Food Processing


    Note: The following processing facilities are exempt from 20-C Licensing (see 1 NYCRR: 276.4 for further details)

    They must however adhere to good manufacturing practices (GMPs)

    • Licensed by State Liquor Authority as Farm Winery
    • Licensed by State Liquor Authority as Farm Cidery
    • Licensed by State Liquor Authority as Farm Brewery
    • Licensed by State Liquor Authority as Farm Distiller
    • Honey Producers
    • Maple Syrup Processors
    • Hop Processors
    • Home Processors
    • Slicing & Packaging of Cheese at Farmer's Market


If I am a retailer that does not process foods; I need a 28 license.

    Article 28–A Retail Food Store (No Food Processing):

    Who’s Required:

    Any Retail Food Store within the State where food and food products are offered to the consumer and intended for off-premises consumption and conducts no food processing as defined above. This includes stores which sell fluid milk, shell eggs and refrigerated meats.

    Application: Retail Food Store



If I am a warehouse that stores/distributes food (excluding Raw Agriculture Commodities (RACs); I need a 28-D license.

    Article 28–D Food Warehouse:

    Who’s Required:

    Any food warehouse facility within the State in which food is held for commercial distribution.

    Application: Food Warehouse


Food Salvager

If I am a Food Salvager; I need a 17-B license.

    Article 17-B Food Salvager:

    Who's Required:

    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.

    Application: Food Salvager


Refrigerated Warehouse/Locker

If I own a refrigerated warehouse or locker that stores/distributes refrigerated foods; I need a 19 license.

Rendering Plant

If I am a rendering plant; I need a 5-C license.

    Article 5-C Licensing of Rendering Plant:

    Who's Required:

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


    Disposal Plants
    Transportation Services