The Lenten season is right around the corner, which means fish fries are too. The Allegheny County Health Department (ACHD) is reminding fish fry sponsors they must have a valid food permit, a requirement for all food facilities in the county, including temporary fish fries.

“Seasonal fish fries are a great part of the region’s cultural identity,” explained Otis Pitts, ACHD deputy director for Food Safety, Housing, and Policy. “It is important that seasonal fish fry organizers follow proper food safety handling procedures to ensure their patrons do not get sick from the food they serve. Working with the Health Department’s Food Safety Program will help fish fry organizers do just that.”

Sponsors that do not already have a valid food permit must complete a temporary permit application and provide the permit fee to the Health Department no later than Wednesday, Feb. 8, for timely review and processing.

Applications and payments may be submitted online by visiting ACHD’s Website or by mail to the ACHD Food Safety Program, 2121 Noblestown Road, Suite 210, Pittsburgh, PA 15205. Checks and money orders will be accepted and must be made payable to the Treasurer of Allegheny County. The fee for a temporary permit is $50 for for-profit organizations and $45 for nonprofits.

The application contains a checklist for applicants to help fish fries operate in accordance with accepted food safety protocols. The checklist must be completed for a fish fry to receive a temporary permit.

Anyone with questions or needing more information may contact the ACHD’s Food Safety Program by calling 412-578-8044 or emailing [email protected].