Healthy People in a Healthy Environment


120 S. Hays St
Suite 200
Bel Air, Maryland 21014
Phone: 410-877-2305
Fax: 443-643-0333

The Division of Food Control is responsible for ensuring that food prepared and served in Harford County food service facilities is safe, wholesome and free from adulterants. The Division endeavors to protect and improve public health through education and enforcement of food safety codes, policies, and laws.

**As of October 1, 2015, Maryland State Law requires the event coordinator of special events must provide for collection and recycling of recyclable materials (paper, plastic, glass, and cans) generated at the event. This requirement applies to events which take place on a public street or publicly owned property, where food or drink are served, and where 200 or more persons are expected to attend. For more information, please click here , visit or call 410-638-3417.**

 **Check out our new video! How to Set Up a Temporary Food Stand**

Food Safety and Food Facility Inspections

  • Inspects and licenses food service facilities-restaurants, schools, churches, and various other non-profit organizations
  • Inspects and licenses special food service facilities-mobile units and temporary events (fairs, carnivals, outdoor coverts)
  • Evaluates food service facility menus (HACCP) to assess hazards
  • Provides consumer education materials to the public
  • Investigates consumer complaints related to food and food service facilities
  • Investigates foodborne and waterborne illnesses related to food service facilities

Plan Review

  • Reviews and approves plans for new and remodeled food service facilities
  • Conducts pre-opening inspections for new food service facilities
  • Coordinates release of building permits and use and occupancy permits with other county and local agencies
  • Conducts change of ownership inspections for food service facilities

Food Regulations, COMAR 10.15.03 (New)

These State regulations govern all food service facilities in Harford County.  In addition to COMAR 10.15.03, the Food Control program utilizes State Laws, State and Local Health Department policies, and interpretive memos in the enforcement of the food regulations.  Copies of COMAR 10.15.03 are available at the Health Department for a cost.

Food Service Facility Licenses

Any operator of a food service facility that sells or provides food to the public must possess a valid Food Service Facility License.  Some exemptions are granted to bona fide non-profit organizations (see Non-Profit Facility Exemptions).  Licenses must be displayed in a conspicuous location within the food service facility.  Licenses are divided into seven (7) groupings based on the type of operation.  Licenses are valid for up to one year, with the exception of temporary and seasonal license. Notification is sent automatically to the operator prior to renewal.  Licenses are not transferable from person to person or place to place.  Additional information on licensing may be found in COMAR

The Health Department also issues temporary facility licenses in conjunction with special events.   These licenses are for a limited time and for specific events.

Change of Ownership Inspections

There are several steps that need to be taken when licensed food service facilities undergo a change in ownership.  Remember that licenses are not transferable from person to person, so the change of ownership process must be completed prior to selling or buying a food service facility.


Associated Documents

Application for a Plan Review for a Food Service Facility

Application for Change of Ownership Inspection

Change of Ownership Guidelines


Consumer Food Safety Information

Excluded Organization Event Notification Form

Fee Schedule for Food Service Facilities

Fee Schedule for Change of Ownership Inspections

Fee Schedule for a Plan Review for a New Food Service Facility

Fee Schedule for Renovation or Addition to an Existing Food Service Facility

Food License Application 

Food Talk

Guidance for Cottage Food Businesses

Guidelines for Mobile Food Units

Mobile Unit Application

Guidelines for Snowball Stands

Maryland Food Establishment Ventilation Criteria

Minimum Requirements for Temporary Food Service Facility

Non-Profit Organizations

Plan Review for New or Remodeled Facilities

Temporary Food Service Facilities Application

Temporary Food Service Requirements Checklist