Code of the District of Columbia

§ 7–742.12. Microenterprise Home Kitchen Businesses.

(a) This section shall not:

(1) Apply to a food establishment that is required to have a license under Department regulations; or

(2) Exempt a microenterprise home kitchen business from any applicable District or federal tax laws.

(b) The Department shall develop a microenterprise home kitchen permit and develop standards and regulations relating to the requirements of this permit.

(c) A microenterprise home kitchen business shall register with the Department before beginning operation.

(d) The Department may perform a pre-operational inspection of the microenterprise home kitchen business before that business begins operation.

(e)(1) The Department may enter the premises of a microenterprise home kitchen business with a permit issued by the Department during the operating hours of the microenterprise home kitchen to conduct:

(A) Scheduled pre-operational and compliance inspections with reasonable advance notice of the inspection; or

(B) Unannounced inspections when the Department has a valid reason, which could include a consumer complaint, to suspect that a microenterprise home kitchen poses an imminent health hazard or is the source of an adulterated food or of an outbreak of illness caused by a contaminated food.

(2) The Department shall document the reason for any inspection after an initial inspection, keep a copy of the documentation on file with the microenterprise home kitchen's permit, and provide a copy of that documentation to the operator.

(f) An operator may qualify for a microenterprise home kitchen permit; provided, that:

(1) Food that is prepared at the microenterprise home kitchen is handled, stored, and prepared in compliance with Department regulations;

(2) The kitchen facility used to prepare food for the microenterprise home kitchen meets the requirements established by the Department;

(3) The operator provides written standard operating procedures to the Department that include:

(A) Proposed procedures and methods for how all food will be stored, handled, and prepared;

(B) Proposed procedures and methods of food preparation and handling;

(C) Procedures, methods, and schedules for cleaning utensils and equipment;

(D) Procedures and methods for the disposal of refuse; and

(E) A plan for maintaining time or temperature control food at the appropriate temperatures for each time or temperature control food.

(4) The operator operates only during the hours and only prepares the food items approved in the microenterprise home kitchen permit;

(5) The operator provides notification to the consumer that, while a permit has been issued by the Department, the kitchen does not meet all of the requirements of a commercial retail food establishment; and

(6) The operator successfully passes a nationally accredited Certified Food Protection Manager Course approved by the Department and obtains a District-issued Certified Food Protection Manager Certificate.

(g) An operator can apply to amend their permit by submitting a written proposal in a format determined in rules developed by the Department;

(h) The Department shall not require, as a condition of obtaining a microenterprise home kitchen permit, that an operator:

(1) Rent or lease space at a commercial kitchen outside of their home;

(2) Rent or purchase equipment, utensils, or display containers or equipment, other than what is required for safe storage, handling, and preparation of the food offered for sale;

(3) Have additional hand-washing facilities in their home, except to require that a hand washing station supplied with warm water and soap be conveniently located in food preparation, food dispensing, and warewashing areas;

(4) Have additional kitchen sinks, except to require that the kitchen sink has hot and cold water and is fully operational;

(5) Limit the individuals permitted in food preparation areas, food storage areas, and washing areas, except during food preparation;

(6) Limit the presence of animals in the home, except to require that all animals are kept outside of food preparation areas;

(7) Use specific materials for food-contact and non-food contact surfaces; provided, that the food-contact surfaces are smooth, easily cleanable, and in good repair; or

(8) Install significant equipment or make significant renovations to the home, beyond what would be required to ensure food and human safety in the food preparation areas.

(i) The Department has the authority to issue citations and summarily suspend or revoke a permit if an operator is not complying with any provisions set forth in this section.

(j) A person whose license or permit is revoked may, within 15 days after the notice of revocation by the Department, appeal the decision to the Office of Administrative Hearings.