Microenterprise Home Kitchen Operations (MEHKO)
Interested in Becoming a Home-Based Chef?
Recently approved legislation allows home-based San Mateo County chefs to operate food facilities (i.e., Microenterprise Home Kitchen Operation - MEHKO) from their home kitchens.
The program is available to San Mateo County residents living in private homes equipped with a kitchen who are locally licensed and have been issued an operating permit from San Mateo County’s Environmental Health Services Division.
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. Learn more about specific operational requirements.
San Mateo County is conducting a two-year pilot program for these types of facilities and will accept program permit applications, as well as provide Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) Forms, in the coming weeks.
How to Apply
1. Review relevant documents
2. Register for and attend an in-person or online presentation
3. Complete and submit the following:
- Environmental Health Services MEHKO Permit Application (applications may be submitted for review starting August 15, 2021)
- Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) Form (SOP Forms will be available soon)
- Applicable permit fee (permit fees waived until 2023)
4. Register as a local business with your local jurisdiction
5. Sign-up for important Environmental Health Services updates
Upon approval of documents, local license, and an in-home inspection by the County, a MEHKO is approved to operate.
If you have questions on program details, please visit smchealth.org/microkitchen, Contact San Mateo County Environmental Health Services' Food Program at (650) 372-6200, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.