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Nova Scotia Department of Agriculture

Food Establishment Permit

Who Needs This Permit?

Anyone in Nova Scotia who wants to operate a foodservice facility such as: restaurant, food take-out, mobile canteen, temporary food establishment, or a grocery store or push carts or any facility from which foods are sold, whether on a permanent basis or only occasionally.  (See also Additional Information, below)

A Temporary Event Permit is required for the sale of foods at Temporary events, fairs and festivals (as defined in the Nova Scotia Food Safety Regulations).  It is required for a booth or other structure operated for fourteen consectuive days or less per year and also includes food booths set up by community organizations to raise funds. Note: Not for profit (recognized charity) does not require a fee.

Issuing Department / Agency:
  Nova Scotia Department of Agriculture
Where can you get this Permit and / or further information?
(Halifax Regional Municipality)
  Food Safety
Nova Scotia Department of Agriculture

Tel: (855) 893-5309
Fax: 902-896-2381
Office Location:
Harlow Civic
176 College Rd.
Truro, NS B2N 2P3

Mailing Address:
P.O. Box 890
Truro, NS B2N 5G6
(Cape Breton, Antigonish, Guysborough, Colchester, Pictou and Cumberland Counties)
  Food Safety
Nova Scotia Department of Agriculture

Tel: 902-563-2000
Fax: 902-563-3435
Office Location and Mailing Address
320 Esplanade St.
Sydney, NS
B1P 7B9

(Kings, Annapolis, Digby, Yarmouth, Shelburne, Queens, Lunenburg and Hants Counties)
  Food Safety
Nova Scotia Department of Agriculture

Tel: 902-634-7506
Fax: 902-634-7549

Office Location
Lunenburg Provincial Building
312 Green Street
Lunenburg , NS
B0J 2C0

Mailing Address:
PO BOX 7000
Lunenburg , NS
B0J 2C0

Application Forms & Process:

Pickup: An application form for either a new application or temp events can be picked up at any Office of the Nova Scotia Department of Agriculture listed above,

OR You can download a Food Establishment Permit Application or a Temporary Food Permit Application from the Department of Agriculture Food Protection and Enforcement Division website.

OR by writing to:

Food Safety Section
Nova Scotia Department of Agriculture
P.O. Box 890
Truro, NS B2N 5G6

OR phoning the above at: (855) 893-5309

Return: When the application form is completed, it is mailed, along with a cheque or money order (payable to the Minister of Finance) to the Central Region Office mailing address, listed above.

There is an on-site inspection required before this permit can be issued.

If all requirements are met and the application is approved, the Permit and Decal will be sent to the applicant by mail.

Waiting Period:
  Initial Application: 10 business days
Renewals: 5 business days
provided that all the items that must accompany the application have been received
Expiry & Renewal:
  This Permit is valid from April 1 of one year to March 31 of the following year.

It can be renewed; the Department will send out a renewal notice before it expires.
Price:  (HST is Included)
Initial Application or renewal:
Eating Establishments $111.30
Food Shops $73.75
Mobile Food Services $44.50
Mobile Lobster Fisher (Live lobster only) $0.00
Public Market $44.50
Temporary Event (1 day) $13.90
Temporary Event (2 days or longer) $28.20
Multiple Temporary Events (2 to 5 events) $44.50

Note:  Not-for-profit (recognized charity) organizations are not required to pay a fee for a Temporary Event Permit.


Please pay by cheque or money order made out to the Minister of Finance.

Debit cards, credit cards or cash are not accepted as payment.

Related Requirements:
  A Municipal vendors licence is also often required.  To discover whether or not this is so, check with your local Town or Municipal office.
Additional Information:
  1. After an application has been received, an Inspector from the Food Safety Section of the Nova Scotia Department of Agriculture will carry out an on-site inspection.

    This must be done before the permit can be issued.

  2. Annual inspection: The standard procedure of the Food Safety Section is to carry out an on-site inspection of all facilities holding this permit every year.  If a facility is considered high-risk, more frequent inspections are carried out.  When you apply for a renewal of your permit, that inspection may not be carried out immediately, in which case the renewal will be forwarded to you by the Department and the inspection carried out at a later date.
Legislative Authority:

Health Act, Revised Statutes of Nova Scotia, 1989, Chapter 194

Food Safety Regulations made under Section 105 of the Health Protection Act.

Last Updated: April 2013

Back to the Department of Agriculture Index in the Nova Scotia Permits Directory

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