Residential Kitchens

There are an increasing number of private citizens preparing food products in their home kitchens for sale. Massachusetts allows its residents to operate home-based businesses to produce low-risk foods, such as cakes, cookies, breads, and confectioneries.

Home-based food businesses are allowed within specific regulatory limitations. Retail Residential kitchen operations are restricted to sale directly to the consumer and are inspected and licensed by the local board of health.

Wholesale operations may sell their products to retail stores, restaurants, etc., and are inspected and licensed by the Massachusetts Food Protection Program.

Retail Sale:
  • 105 CMR 590.000 Minimum Sanitation Standards for Food Establishments, Chapter X 
  • 105 CMR 520.000 Massachusetts Labeling Regulations
The following are answers to some of the most commonly asked questions about residential kitchen operations.

What kinds of foods may be prepared in a residential kitchen?
Residential kitchens are strictly limited to the preparation of non-potentially hazardous foods (non-PHFs), such as baked goods, confectioneries, jams and jellies. Non-PHFs, such as cakes and cookies, which have PHF ingredients are acceptable.

What kinds of foods may not be prepared in a residential kitchen?
The preparation and sale of potentially hazardous foods (PHF) such as cream-filled pastries, cheesecake, custard and other foods which can support the growth of disease causing bacteria are strictly prohibited. In addition, perishable foods that require refrigeration, such as cut fruit and vegetables, tomato and barbeque sauce, pickled products, relishes and salad dressings are not permitted in residential kitchens. In addition, all foods that are manufactured or packaged using processes that require state or federal control (e.g., acidification, hot fill, vacuum-packaging, etc) are prohibited. Garlicin-oil products are not permitted.

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