Wolf Administration Highlights Benefits of Self-Certification for Pennsylvania Restaurants

Harrisburg, PA – At Appalachian Brewing Company in Harrisburg today, Agriculture Secretary Russell Redding and Department of Community and Economic Development Deputy Secretary Carrie Lepore reminded Pennsylvania restaurants of the benefits of joining Open & Certified Pennsylvania. More than 7,500 restaurants have self-certified – by completing a quick, easy online self-certification application – confirming that they’re taking every precaution, following all health guidelines, and keeping safety a top priority.

“Throughout the pandemic, Pennsylvania’s restaurants have innovated to continue serving our commonwealth,” said Redding. “Now, we’re innovating for them by offering Open & Certified Pennsylvania as a new way to put themselves in front of Pennsylvanians looking for a safe place to dine.”

PA Preferred® Appalachian Brewing Company has self-certified all six of their locations in hopes of instilling confidence in Pennsylvanians looking for a safe, local dining experience. Local businesses are the heartbeat of Pennsylvania’s economy, and Open & Certified Pennsylvania is a way for people to choose an eatery with confidence and support strong local economies.

“In the fight against COVID-19 and in our path to economic recovery, it’s going to take all of us – businesses and consumers alike – doing the right thing, keeping each other safe, and remembering to support our local businesses,” said Lepore. “By self-certifying, restaurants like Appalachian Brewing Company show their commitment to employees, patrons, and surrounding community.”

Those looking for a safe dining experience are encouraged to browse self-certified facilities in the Open & Certified PA Business Directory, where searches can be performed based on county, city, zip code, or restaurant name.

Restaurants interested in being added to the directory can self-certify online. In addition to being added to the searchable database for patrons, self-certifying allows restaurants, private social clubs, and other food service businesses that serve dine-in, sit-down food in a regular, non-event capacity to increase indoor occupancy to 50 percent. Self-certified retail food facilities must continue adhering to mitigation efforts that will keep employees and customers safe, at 50 percent occupancy.

Restaurants that self-certify are not subject to additional food safety inspection or scrutiny. The occurrence of regularly scheduled or complaint-based inspections from enforcement agencies is not affected by certification status. In fact, certifying proves that a business is committed to protecting employees and providing patrons a safe dining experience.

The Wolf Administration has released Frequently Asked Questions as a reference for restaurant owners and the public, along with updated restaurant guidance.

Business owners with additional questions about the self-certification program can contact covidselfcert@pa.gov.

Note: Video available at PACast website.

For more information about the Department of Community and Economic Development, visit the DCED website, and be sure to stay up-to-date with all of our agency news on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.

Casey Smith, DCED, casesmith@pa.gov
Shannon Powers, Ag, shpowers@pa.gov

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