The Hopkins County Health Department has received many concerns and is now asking the community that if they are operating a home based operation, that you need to apply for a permit and follow the same rules as businesses do.
According to state laws in Kentucky food service and family food service must be separated. While it can operate at home, it must be permitted for the safety of the food and the customer.
“It’s not illegal to sell food in your home or have a home based business, but you have to follow all the same rules as restaurants, grocery stores, food trucks, schools, or anyone that serves food,” says Denise Beach of the Hopkins County Health Department.
This is important with items such as meat, dairy and more. If someone is making items such as cookies or cakes, there are one-time permits for events but the regulations on these are less stringent because the risk is not as high for foodborne illnesses.
“The baked goods are a little different because they are actually permitted through the state because they are what are considered low risk foods,” says Beach. “The foods we’ve had people cooking include, meat, dairy, vegetables, things maybe mayonnaise, it’s just things that can cause illness.”
Social media is a major player in this problem. People can easily operate and sell items online without knowing they need to follow the same rules as the ones businesses and restaurants follow.
“You cannot have personalized items, somebody has to be trained in food safety in the establishment,” says Beach. “So what we do is to try and make sure that they are doing everything, the mopping the sanitizing that is required in a restaurant or food service establishment.”
To be permitted as a home based processor, you can contact the Hopkins County Health Department for application information.