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AB 626 Microenterprise Home Kitchen

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Published on December 10, 2018. Last modified on September 09, 2019

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Microenterprise Home Kitchen Operation

As of January 1, 2019 home chefs in California can legally make and sell meals at home to neighbors as “microenterprise home kitchen operations”—provided that your county has an ordinance allowing it..

This law is different from the California Homemade Cottage Food Law which licenses home chefs to produce packaged, shelf-stable foods. For Cottage Food applications and information, click here.

Does Monterey County have an ordinance?

As of December 2018 Monterey County does not have an ordinance for Microenterprise Home Kitchen Operations . Please check back here for updates. We will update this page as more information is available.

What is a Microenterprise Home Kitchen Operation?

The definition of “Microenterprise home kitchen operation” is a food facility that is operated by a resident in a private home* where food is stored, handled, and prepared for, and may be served to, consumers.

*“resident of a private home” means an individual who resides in the private home when not elsewhere for labor or other special or temporary purpose.

In order to use this law, you must meet all of the following requirements:

  • Live in a county/city that creates an ordinance for it
  • Make and sell your food on the same day
  • Sell directly to customers (no indirect sales)
  • Sell no more than 60 meals per week
  • Stay under the $50,000 annual sales limit
  • Not be a cottage food operation

Cottage Food 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.

Cottage food operators must ensure that all of the products they are selling are on the Cottage Food Operations (Approved Food List) as maintained by the California Department of Public Health, and meet the labeling requirements for all products. Additional fees will apply for investigation of valid complaints and re-inspections related to improperly labeled products or unapproved products offered for sale.

All cottage food operators will have to meet specified requirements pursuant to the California Health & Safety Code related to preparing foods that are on the approved food list. A food processor training course must be completed within three months of approval of the cottage food operation (CFO). The CFO must implement sanitary conditions, maintain food labels in accordance with federal and state regulations and comply with established gross annual sales limits.

Additional information and forms may be found here.


View Assembly Bill No. 626 - Microenterprise Home Kitchen Operations
Forrager- California Microenterprise Home Kitchen Operation
Food Starter - How to Start a Microenterprise Homemade Meal Business in California
Food Safety Certification Courses
Microenterprise Home Kitchen Operation FAQs
Microenterprise Home Kitchen Operation - Standard Operating Procedures
Microenterprise Home Kitchen Operation / Alcoholic Beverage Acknowledgement