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    Serving Food as an Excluded (Unlicensed) Organization

    Excluded Organization Information

    An Excluded Organization is a volunteer fire company or a bona fide nonprofit fraternal, civic, war veterans', religious​, or charitable organization or corporation that does not serve food to the public more often than 4 days per week except that once​ a year an organization may serve food to the public for up to 30 consecutive days[1] (Health General §21–301).

    ​​House Bill 522 (Ch. 230 of the Acts of 2019)​, 'Public Health  Food Establishments  Licensing'  changes the law governing excluded organizations. 

    Effective October 1, 2019, HB522 makes the following changes:

    1. Changes the definition of an excluded organization to allow food to be served to the public for up to 30 consecutive days once a year and the definition of a food service facility so that it does not include a food preparation or serving area where food is prepared or served only by an excluded organization;

    2. Allows an excluded organization to rescind a decision to operate as a licensed entity[2];

    3. Allows the Department to adopt regulations for excluded organizations that serve potentially hazardous foods prepared in a private kitchen; and

    4. Requires excluded organizations serving potentially hazardous foods prepared in a private kitchen to meet the requirements in the regulations once adopted by the Department.

    [1] Before October 1, 2019, excluded organizations other than a volunteer fire company may only serve food for 14 consecutive days once a year. 
    [2] If your organization is interested in rescinding its decision to operate as a licensed entity and opt-out of having a food service facility license, please contact your local health department​ for further instructions.​

    Attention All Excluded Organizations:

    The Department is planning a series of meetings starting around October 2019 to discuss the development of new regulations specific to food service operations at Excluded Organizations.  

    If you are interested in participating in the meetings, or want to be included in future mailings, including periodic updates on the development of these regulations, please contact the Office of Food Protection at mdh.envhealth@maryland.gov with the subject line: “Excluded Organization Regulation Development Meeting” and the following information in the body of the message:

    1.  Organization:

    ​​2.  Designated Representative: 
           Phone number
           Email address

    Please check back to this page for future meeting schedules.