Cottage Foods Sandie got her Class B permit from San Diego Environmental Health on Friday. There are a few delays you can avoid and ways to streamline your process if you want to make it easier on yourself. For instance . . .
- Confirm that the zoning of your location will permit a home-based business. The Department of Environmental Health may send you away to check before allowing you to file your permit application. For more information on how to contact your local planning department, read our post on being “in the zone” HERE. Be sure the planning department understands that it will be a cottage food business and you won’t be doing renovations, posting signs, etc. Some localities have Home Occupancy applications for home businesses. If so, your planning department will ask similar questions. Check out what forms you will need for your local business license.
- You will need the Assessor’s parcel number for your residence which can be found HERE by typing in your address as indicated.
- Your food product MUST be one of the foods on the CA state CA CFO foods list
- You will need to know your public water and sewer district. (If you have well water and want a Class A permit, they will recommend that you have the well water tested to make sure it is not contaminated with bacteria. If you want a Class B permit, and you have a well OR use a private septic system, it must be inspected by Land and Water Quality Division (858-565-5173) prior to operating.
- You will need a sample label. See the Environmental Health Department’s Cottage Food San Diego CFO Registration Form for specific information required on the label. Cottage Foods Sandie recommends you take a packaged, labeled sample of your product for them to see, as well as a copy of the label for them to keep.
- Fill out the right forms. For a Class A permit, carefully read, answer, and sign the Self-Inspection Checklist. If you want a Class B permit, carefully read, and answer the first half of Public Health Permit Application-San Diego. Skip the “Food Facilities” and other sections and sign and date it at the bottom.
- Have cash, check, or money order made out to San Diego County for either $142 (Class A) or $284 (Class B). The office does not accept debit or credit cards at this time.
- Take your forms to the San Diego Department of Environmental Health located at 5500 Overland Dr., Suite 170, San Diego, CA 91923. At this time, the San Marcos office is not yet processing Cottage Food Operation permits.
Finding the office of San Diego Department of Environmental Health:
The office building at 5500 Overland Dr. is easy enough to find (sitting at the corner of Overland Dr. and Farnham St.) but the office itself is a bit more obscure. It is best reached by parking in the lot on Overland Dr. You then walk around the building past the credit union down Farnham St. to the first sidewalk on your left. (This is the “back” of the 5500 building.) Walk down the sidewalk between the two buildings (with your back to Farnham St.) Near the end of the 5500 building on your left will be a set of double glass doors. The San Diego Department of Environmental Health office is on the first floor immediately on your right.
You can also call the Specialist on Duty at 858-505-6900 to ask questions and make sure you have everything you need before you arrive.
Any problems or unanticipated questions? Let me know!