Notice of Board Hearing
Microenterprise Home Kitchen Operations ( MEHKOs )
The County Board of Supervisors has set a public hearing for Tuesday, May 11 at 9:00 AM to consider an Ordinance that would amend Santa Barbara County Code to allow Microenterprise Home Kitchen Operations as a new type of food business in the county.
The agenda for Tuesday's hearing can be downloaded here: ( click here )
Supporting information for this agenda item can be downloaded here: ( click here )
Individuals or groups that would like to share their comments to the Board of Supervisors or to provide input at the hearing should follow the instructions provided by the Clerk of the Board at: https://www.countyofsb.org/bos/hearingprocess.sbc.
Written comments can also be submitted via email prior to 5:00 PM on the day before the Board hearing. Please email written comments to the Clerk of the Board at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Stakeholder Outreach Information (UPDATED)
Microenterprise Home Kitchen Operations ( MEHKOs )
Governor Brown signed AB 626 in 2018 (updated by AB 377 in 2019). This law took effect on January 1, 2019, and allows home cooks to apply for a health permit to make and sell meals out of their home kitchen (known as a Microenterprise Home Kitchen Operation or MEHKO) if their local jurisdiction has adopted an ordinance that allows them.
MEHKOs can be thought of as a mini-food business that can operate from a private home kitchen. The operator of a MEHKO may make and sell a wider variety of foods than is currently allowed in a home-based Cottage Food Operation. They can provide the food for take-out or delivery, or customers can dine at the MEHKO. Because MEHKOs are in private homes and not commercial
restaurant kitchens, there are limits on what they can make and serve. Some conditions that MEHKOs have to meet include.
- Making and serving food on the same day
- Selling directly to customers (no wholesaling or catering)
- A maximum of 60 meals per week (with a maximum of 30 meals per day; may be less, depending on the proposed kitchen, space and equipment available)
- Less the $50,000 per year gross receipts (verifiable)
- Alcoholic beverages may not be served, sold or given away without a permit from the California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control ( https://www.abc.ca.gov )
- No canning or bottling of foods (including salsas, sauces, dressings or juices)
- Limits on number of employees
- Limits on household activities that can occur in the MEHKO during its operating hours.
If you are interested in learning more about MEHKOs as an option in Santa Barbara County, the presentation prepared for the April 12 and April 14, 2021 stakeholder outreach meetings can be viewed at the following links below:
Please email our office ( email@example.com ) to be put on an interest list for informational updates about a proposal to authorize MEHKOs as an option in Santa Barbara County.
The full text of AB 626 can be read here: AB 626 MEHKO
The full text of AB 377 can be read here: AB 377
MEHKO Questions? Please email EHS at: firstname.lastname@example.org
California Department of Public Health
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE5/5/2021
The mussel quarantine is a yearly event that happens due to dangerous levels of biotoxins that may be present in mussels gathered by the public anywhere on the California coast, including bays, inlets and harbors. The quarantine applies only to sport-harvested mussels; commercially grown mussels from certified companies are not included in the quarantine. The annual mussel quarantine is in place to protect the public against paralytic shellfish poisoning (PSP) and domoic acid poisoning (DAP), also known as Amnesic Shellfish Poisoning.
The annual quarantine is normally in effect from May 1 through October 31. However, the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) may begin the quarantine early, or extend it, if monitoring results indicate the presence of dangerous levels of biotoxins outside of the normal quarantine period. The May through October quarantine period encompasses more than 99 percent of all PSP illnesses and deaths reported in California since 1927. The mussel quarantine is in effect from the Oregon border to the Mexican border. All bays, inlets and harbors are included.
The annual quarantine is in place so the public does not collect mussels during this high-risk period for marine toxins. The occurrence of biotoxins in mussels is unpredictable and they can increase in concentration very rapidly. Therefore, the annual quarantine period provides the best approach for protecting the public from these potentially deadly biotoxins.
There are no known antidotes to the toxins found in mussels. Cooking does not reliably destroy the toxins.
For additional information about the mussel quarantine: Mussel Quarantine Frequently Asked Questions section.
For up to date information about Food Recalls please visit:
Food and Drug Administration (FDA)
United States Department of Agriculture (USDA)
United States Consumer Product Safety Commission
Local Agency Management Program (LAMP) Document
NOTICE: The LAMP and implementing ordinance became effective in February 2015 with full implementation occurring on November 20, 2015 as approved by the Central Coast Regional Water Quality Control Board.
AB 1252 Summary of Changes
AB 1252 Cal Code Changes Effective January 1, 2014
Retail Food Facilities are required to only sell food from approved sources