Starting a home kitchen operation in Riverside County

Interesting in selling food from your home kitchen located in Riverside County? Below are the basic steps you'll need to complete to start your microenterprise home kitchen (MHKO) business:

  1. Submit your Standard Operating Procedures, (English / Spanish), including your menu, and application to your local area Environmental Health office.
  2. Complete the Health Permit Application.
  3. Obtain, or register to obtain, a California Food Manager Certification for the owner/operator and a Riverside County Food Handler Certification for any other person involved with the MHKO.
  4. Schedule an inspection of your home kitchen, including associated areas used in the operation.
    The following areas will be inspected: consumer eating area, restroom, janitorial or cleaning facilities, refuse storage area, and attached rooms within the home that are used for food, utensil, and equipment storage. This will also include any vehicles used for transporting food to or from a MHKO. Detached accessory buildings, including garages and sleeping quarters, enclosed patios, or second units are not allowed to be used for food, utensil, or equipment storage.
  5. Prepare your home kitchen for inspection
  6. Once all the necessary documents have been reviewed and approved by the County Environmental Health department, and the home inspection is complete, the MHKO may be approved to operate.
  7. Sign up for HomeNom to promote your home kitchen business and manage sales

How much is a MHKO permit in Riverside County?

As of June 2019, the MHKO permit fee for Riverside County is $651. The fee covers the cost of application and inspection and the permit is valid for one year from the month of issue.

Business permits and other requirements

Your operation may be subject to additional permits, clearances, or licenses depending on the location of your home kitchen. To see what else may be required, the CalGold website can assist. On the CalGold website, you may want to choose "cottage food operation" (CFO) as the business-type because "microenterprise home kitchen operation" is not available, but the requirements for a MHKO and CFO are very similar. 

Additional information

MHKOs operating in Riverside County are subject to County ordinance and California Retail Food Code. See Riverside County Ordinance no. 949 for more information. For more information and questions about the application, contact the Riverside County Department of Environmental Health