How to Get Your Home Kitchen Certified for the Production of Food for the Public

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Some people have a dream of owning their own bakery or restaurant but lack the funds to buy a building to start the business. As an alternative, a person has the option of starting her own food-based business from her home kitchen. While it is illegal to start a home-based food business in some states, other states allow it if the kitchen meets certain standards. By getting in touch with your state or county department of health and following the necessary guidelines you can get your home kitchen certified for food production.

Contact your state or local department of health. Explain that you want to start a food-related business out of your home and tell them what kind of food you plan to make, such as sandwiches or cakes. Ask if it is legal to operate a food-based business out of your home kitchen, since it is illegal in some states. Ask for additional information regarding the standards and qualifications necessary for a home kitchen and request any paperwork that you will need to fill out in order to get your kitchen certified.

Comply with the necessary building requirements for a home kitchen. For example, some states that allow home-based food businesses require the kitchen be completely sealed off from the rest of the house so as to avoid contamination, and some require multiple sinks for dish washing. Hire a general contractor to complete the building requirements and get the contractor in touch with the department of health to ensure all of the renovations are done to code.

Buy all of the necessary equipment that you will need for the business and install the equipment in the kitchen. To legally operate a food-based business you may be required to have a certain number of sinks or regulation cooking equipment. For example, a state or county health inspector most likely won’t certify your kitchen if you plan to bake with an oven that is 40 years old. Having new equipment will improve your chances of getting your kitchen certified and it will be beneficial to your business overall.

Contact your county department of health to set up an inspection. The department will send a health inspector to evaluate your home kitchen and decide if it adequately meets the state’s health codes. The inspector should notify you of his findings soon after completing the inspection and provide you with a commercial kitchen certification license.

Apply for a business license. Contact your city hall or city’s chamber of commerce to inquire about obtaining the proper application for a business license. A business license is required for nearly any business to legally operate within a certain state or community.

Enroll in a food service management course if one is required. Ask your county department of health if a food service management certificate is required by the state and, if so, how to go about enrolling in such a course. Follow the rules and obligations required by the course to pass and receive your certification. Some states require such certification and may not allow you to open the business until you have obtained it.

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About the Author

Dan Richter began freelance writing in 2006. His work has appeared in a variety of publications, including the "Wausau Daily Herald," "Stevens Point Journal," "Central Wisconsin Business Magazine" and the "Iowa City Press-Citizen." Richter graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point in 2009 with a Bachelor of Arts in communication and media studies.

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