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Nova Scotia Environment and Climate Change

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 Environment and Climate Change
Where can you get this Certification and / or further information?
Contact your local Nova Scotia Department of Environment and Climate Change Office:
Application Forms & Process:

Online: Eating Establishment, Food Shop, and Seasonal applications can be completed online here.

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 Environment and Climate Change listed above,

OR You can download a Food Establishment Permit Application, Public Market or a Temporary Food Permit Application from Nova Scotia Environment and Climate Change.

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 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: 15-20 business days
Renewals: up to 15 business days
provided that all the items that must accompany the application have been received
Expiry & Renewal:
This permit is valid for one year from the issue date.

It may be renewed; you will receive notification when your permit is expiring.
Price:  (HST is Included)
Initial Application or renewal:
Eating Establishments $222.59
Eating Establishment - Seasonal (6 months
or less)
Food Shops $89.01
Food Shop - Seasonal (6 months or less) $44.51
Mobile: Class 1 (Mobile Eating Establishment) $222.59
Mobile: Class 1 (Mobile Eating Establishment Seasonal) $89.01
Mobile: Class 2 (e.g Pushcarts) $89.01
Mobile: Class 3 (Other Vendors) $89.01
Mobile Lobster Fisher (Live lobster only,
DFO # required)
Public Market $44.51
Temporary Event (1 day) $27.81
Temporary Event (2 days or longer) $58.40

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 Inspection, Compliance and Enforcement Section of Nova Scotia Department of Environment and Climate Change 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 Inspection, Compliance and Enforcement 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.

Back to the Nova Scotia Environment Index in the Nova Scotia Permits Directory

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