Prior to 2012, under the California Retail Food Code (CRFC), food
sold to consumers was required to be made at an inspected commercial
kitchen. When the California Homemade Food Act, known as “cottage food
operations”, was enacted in 2013, certain low-risk food products that
do not require refrigeration, such as bread, pie, fruit jam, and dried
food, could be made in private home kitchens, and sold to consumers
under limited conditions.
On September 18, 2018, Governor Brown signed Assembly Bill 626 (AB
626), California Retail Food Code: Microenterprise Home Kitchen
Operations. This bill established a “microenterprise home kitchen
operation” (MEHKO) as a new category of retail food facility and
required a program to be approved by local jurisdictions prior to
MEHKOs being able to operate or be permitted.
|Microenterprise Home Kitchen Operations (MEHKO)|
In preparation for the start of this new program, to provide assistance in completing the necessary applications, and to help operators understand the allowances of a MEHKO operation, a training workshop was held on February 15, 2022. For more information, please view our training workshop videos in English (Arabic, Mandarin, Filipino, Spanish and Vietnamese pending).
Sign Up for Future MEHKO Updates - add your email to our govdelivery subscriber list.
regarding the meetings, contact DEHQ directly at FHDMEHKO@sdcounty.ca.gov.
MEHKO Frequently Asked Questions
(FAQs): English | Spanish
MEHKO Quick Facts: English | Arabic | Filipino | Mandarin-Chinese | Spanish | Vietnamese
MEHKO Startup Checklist: English | Spanish
MEHKO Self Inspection Checklist: English | Spanish
Home Kitchen Operation Resources:
Good Neighbor Tips: English | Arabic | Filipino | Mandarin-Chinese | Spanish | Vietnamese
Zoning Requirements: Permit/License
Requirements from your City of Residence
Food Waste Newsletter - Department of Public Works: Residential Food Waste Reduction
Food Donations: Too Good to Waste PDF
Alcoholic Beverage Control FAQs
California Department of Public Health FAQs – MEHKO and CFO Operations
California Retail Food Code Sections - MEHKOs
San Diego County Library - Resources for Selling Food From Your Home