San Diego

New California Law Allows Sale of Food Made in Home Kitchens

Proponents say it will help small-scale cooks thrive economically

Governor Jerry Brown signed California Assembly Bill 626 into law this week. It allows chefs and cooks to sell food products made from home kitchens. 

The practice of selling food made from home was previously illegal due to health concerns. 

The new law will give stricter guidelines on what is labeled as "microenterprise home kitchens." Anyone operating one will have to apply for a permit and sell no more than 60 meals per week. 

The regulations also call for the commercial cook or chef to do business directly with customers and allow inspections of the home kitchen if complaints are received.

Local chefs said San Diego could benefit from the new law.  

“There’s a lot of AirBnBs here in San Diego,” said Danielle Sharesse, the head chef and owner of Flavor Integrations Catering. “Somebody could have a chef come in and prep meals for people staying from out of town.”

Sharesse said there is also a lot of interest in meetup groups and home parties in San Diego.

“If you could host a cooking class in your house, it opens a lot of opportunities for chefs,” added Sharesse.

The City Heights mother of two said this new law will also allow her to prep food at home ahead of time so that she can spend more time with her children before heading to work.

"It will help me be more flexible with my schedule," said Sharesse. 

But she warns, it is important for home chefs not to cross-contaminate food and make sure everything is sanitary when cooking. 

"Don't cross-contaminate utensils for somebody with a shellfish allergy or a nut allergy," said Sharesse. "Cleanliness is a huge concern." 

The new law will go into effect on January 1, 2019. 

Contact Us