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. Watch an online presentation.
MEHKO 101 and Food Safety – Preparing for and Passing Your MEHKO Inspection
Tuesday, October 26, 2021
Presentation Recorded in English
Training PowerPoint Slides | |
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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- MEHKO Permit Application |
(Applications may be submitted for review starting August 15, 2021.)
- MEHKO 101 and Food Safety – Preparing for and Passing Your MEHKO Inspection | |
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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 email@example.com.
NEW! Microenterprise Home Kitchen Operations (MEHKOs) Proposed Ordinance
Board of Supervisors to Consider making Microenterprise Home Kitchen Operations (MEHKOs) Permanent
California Assembly Bill 626 (AB 626), as amended, established Microenterprise Home Kitchen Operations (“MEHKOs”) as a new category of food facility under the California Health and Safety Code section 113700, et seq. AB 626 authorizes the use of home kitchens for small-scale, direct food sales by home cooks to consumers. For MEHKOs to legally operate in the County, the Board of Supervisors (Board) must adopt an ordinance or resolution to affirmatively “Opt-In” to the permitting program established by AB 626.
On July 20, 2021, the Board authorized a MEHKO “pilot program,” which authorized San Mateo County Environmental Health Services (EHS) to permit MEHKOs for a two-year period. The pilot program provided the opportunity to assess the benefits of MEHKOs throughout the County before permanently adopting an ordinance.
Now, with the two-year pilot program set to expire, on September 12, 2023, the Board will consider whether to permanently authorize EHS to permit MEHKOs pursuant to AB 626; to fund the cost of administering this permit program through establishment of an annual permit fee; and to continue providing MEHKO businesses negatively impacted by the pandemic another year of zero permit fees by covering this fee for a one-year period.
Specifically, the Board will consider whether to provide additional assistance to MEHKO businesses by waiving the annual permit fee through December 2024 for eligible businesses. The proposed annual permit fee for MEHKO businesses would be $1108, to cover EHS’s program costs.
For questions pertaining to the proposed ordinance, feel free to email EnvHealth@smcgov.org. Additionally, the Board Agenda Item can be found on the link for the meeting on September 12, 2023: sanmateocounty.legistar.com/Calendar.aspx
PERMITTED MEHKO OPERATORS
JC Culinary LLC
Christina C. Lau
Lovely Tea Parties
The Baking Endeavor
The Pearl Kitchen
Lovely Tea Parties
Glamour and Stars
Renee Ann Romero
Boa Cozinha Personal Chef Services
Flavory Fare Kitchen
Lana Lagunera and Ralph Marpuri
Slow Burn Eats
The Striped Pig
Chef Jared Nash
Aparna Teena Arora
Seema Moorjani Jawa
Indian Mom Kitchen
Mary’s Small Kitchen
Mary Ann Gonzalez
Sam’s Lau Lau
South San Francisco
B’s Lunch Box
Fiji Indian Kitchen