As of January 1, 2019, AB 626, known as the Microenterprise Home Kitchen Operations Act, became law. This law authorizes San Mateo County to permit home kitchens for retail use.
A Microenterprise Home Kitchen Operation (MEHKO) is a food facility that is operated by a resident from their private home kitchen. Once permitted, a resident can store, handle, prepare, and serve food to the public, as allowed by State law, similar to a restaurant. State law does place limits on the number of meals that can be served by a MEHKO, revenue that can be earned, and on how certain foods can be prepared, among other requirements.
San Mateo County is conducting a two-year pilot program for these types of facilities.
HOW TO APPLY
1. Review the following documents:
2. Register for, and attend, an in-person or online presentation.
*For technical difficulties accessing the webinar, please call (650) 363-1984.
3. Complete and submit a MEHKO Permit Application
a. Permit Application
c. (Applicable only if renting)
d. Permit Fee (Permit fees for this Program are waived until 2023.)
4. Check with the city you live in for additional requirements.
5. Sign up for important Environmental Health Services MEHKO updates.
- A permit issued from San Mateo County Environmental Health Services.
- No more than one full-time employee, (not including family members or household members) may work at the MEHKO.
- The MEHKO operator shall successfully pass an approved and accredited food safety manager certification examination.
- Any person(s) involved in the MEHKO must obtain a food handler card certificate from an approved California provider.
- Food shall be prepared, cooked, and served on the same day.
- People can dine at your home, or order take out or delivery.
MEHKOs are NOT allowed to:
- Serve or sell raw oysters.
- Produce or sell raw milk.
- Conduct processes that require a Hazard Analysis Critical Control Points (HACCP) Plan.
- Manufacture ice cream or dairy products.
- Serve alcohol or food that contains alcohol without a license from the California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) Program.
- Resell food to other food facilities.
- Display signage or other outdoor advertising.
- Employ more than one full-time employee.
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Environmental Health Services MEHKO Permit Application
(Applications may be submitted for review starting August 15, 2021.)
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- California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control MEHKO guidance
- Microenterprise Home Kitchen Operations Act AB 626
For more information, please call (650) 372-6200 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.