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Microkitchens (MEHKO)

Overview

Microenterprise Home Kitchen Operations (MEHKO)

As of January 1, 2019, AB 626, known as the Microenterprise Home Kitchen Operations Act, became law. The 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 like a restaurant. State law does place limits on the number of meals that can be served, revenue that can be received, and on some foods that 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.

Introduction to MEHKO Presentation Schedule

Online Presentations

Tuesday, August 10 | 10:00 -11:00 a.m. | English/Español
Register Now
Wednesday, August 18 | 5:00 – 6:00 p.m. | English/中國
Register Now
Thursday, August 26 | 6:00 – 7:00 p.m. | English/Tagalog (Q&A Only)
Register Now

In-Person Presentations

Saturday, August 14 | 10:00 – 11:00 a.m. 
Half Moon Bay Sheriff Substation | 435 Kelly Ave.
Register Now

Saturday, August 21 | 10:00 - 11:00 a.m.
South San Francisco City Hall Council Chambers | 33 Arroyo Dr.
Register Now

3. Complete and submit a Permit Application.
    (Applications may be submitted for review starting August 15, 2021.)

4. Complete and submit a MEHKO Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) Form

5. Check with the city you live in for additional requirements.

6. Submit the applicable permit fee (Permit fees for this Program are waived until 2023.)

7. Sign up for important Environmental Health Services MEHKO updates.

MEHKO Requirements

  • 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. 

Additional Resources

For more information, please call (650) 372-6200 or email mehko@smcgov.org.