Boston Retail Residential Kitchens Campaign

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There are too many underrepresented food entrepreneurs in Boston who lack regulation from the city to make and sell certain low-risk foods from their home. As Boston currently lacks a permitting process for Residential Kitchen regulations, these potential vendors are not able make and sell these foods legally. The cities' of Boston and Cambridge's inaction of Residential Kitchen licensing are causing undue stress and burdens on certified food handlers and out-of-work operators of shared kitchen spaces.

We need the city of Boston and Cambridge to permit Residential Kitchens, per the state's Sanitary Code for Food Establishments CMR 590.0000, to allow food handlers the ability to make and sell non-potentially hazardous foods (non-PHFs) from their home kitchens with proper food handling certifications

Residential kitchens products are foods which are prepared with 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 also acceptable.

The cities of Boston and Cambridge need look no further than to the cities of Arlington, Concord, and Newton to see examples of how these operations are helping their small businesses. While many of Massachusetts cities and towns have opted to regulate these permits to support their local food economies, cities like Boston and Cambridge are lagging behind. 

Giving the opportunity for food handler entrepreneurs in the Greater Boston area to create, and sell homemade foods is also a matter of equity. This permitting process is necessary in normal times, but especially now with so many certified food handlers out of work and struggling financially.

I care about this issue because when I created my own business in Los Angeles selling homemade dehydrated fruit strips, my hobby turned into a passion. I had the opportunity to be a vendor at a handful of farmers markets, meet other food entrepreneurs and gain mentors in the food business that I would not have if it weren’t for the permitting process in place which allowed me to get started. It gave me an opportunity to pursue a hobby while making some money supplementary to my primary source of income.

This petition calls on the city of Boston and Cambridge to start providing a permit process for Residential Kitchen. Our community counts on it.