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Please note the Imperial County Public Health Department will be open for appointments only. Department staff will be available to provide assistance by phone to members of the community who have questions related to any of the Department’s essential services.

Phone assistance will be available Monday through Friday from 8:00 am to 12:00 pm and 1:00 pm to 5:00 pm. The office will be closed for lunch from 12:00 pm to 1:00 pm. This shall remain in effect until further notice.

Microenterprise Home Kitchen Operations

A Microenterprise Home Kitchen Operation (MEHKO) is a new type of food facility, which has been permitted by Imperial County Environmental Health to be operated in a private home. Below are quick facts about the MEHKO requirements, limitations, and how to get started: 

  • A permit issued from Imperial County Environmental Health must be obtained prior to operating a MEHKO.
  • No more than one full-time food employee,(not including a family member or household member) may work at the MEHKO.
  • The MEHKO operator shall successfully pass an approved and accredited food safety manager certification examination. Also, any person(s) involved with the MEHKO must obtain a food handler certificate and an Imperial County Health card.
  • Food shall be prepared, cooked, and served on the same day.
  • People can dine at your home or take out.


Food Facility Health Permit Application

MEHKO Standard Operating Procedures

MEHKO Guidelines


MEHKO Quick Facts

MEHKO vs Cottage Food Comparison