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About Retail

Residential Kitchens
Residential Kitchens sell their products directly to the consumer. These operations are licensed and inspected by the local board of health. Only non-potentially hazardous foods such as baked goods, confectioneries, jams and jellies, cakes and cookies are allowed to be prepared in Residential Kitchens.

Residential kitchens are prohibited from preparing and selling potentially hazardous foods. Some of these foods include: cream-filled pastries, cheesecake, custards; perishable foods that require refrigeration including cut fruit and vegetables; tomato and barbecue sauce; pickled products; relishes and salad dressings; dairy, seafood, meat or poultry products; packaged foods using processes that require state or federal control such as, acidification, vacuum-packaging, etc.; garlic-in-oil products.

All foods and products for sale must be labeled with proper labeling requirements. Only household members may be employed for the residential kitchen. The use of brokers, wholesalers, warehouses to sell, store, and distribute foods prepared in residential kitchens in prohibited.

Any questions regarding residential kitchens, inspections or licensing should be directed toward your local board of health.

Wholesale from Residential Kitchens
Be aware that if you begin selling your products to anyone other than directly to the consumer your operation is considered a wholesale business. Permitting and Licensing for wholesale businesses varies from that of residential kitchens. Wholesale businesses operating from residential kitchens can sell their products to retail stores and restaurants. However, wholesale residential kitchens have the same limitations on what can and cannot be produced as residential kitchens. These operations are inspected and licensed by the Massachusetts Food Protection Program.

Any questions regarding wholesale residential kitchens, and licensing should be directed toward Massachusetts Food Protection Program, (617) 983-6712, 305 South Street, Jamaica Plain, MA 02130

Wholesale businesses can sell products to other businesses. Wholesale food businesses include: milk pasteurization, dairy products, seafood, food processing, food warehouses, food distribution centers, wholesale residential kicthens, bottled water, carbonated beverages. These businesses are regulated and inspected by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health’s Food Protection Program.

Additional resources:
FAQs Residential Kitchens
Residential Kitchens
State Resources on Starting a Wholesale Business