Home Kitchen Operations
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.