Food Establishments-Residential Kitchens

A Residential Kitchen is a kitchen in a private home. Most Residential Kitchens, including those in a private home where individuals are cooking for their family or for charitable purposes, like a bake sale, do not require a permit. Certain food-based activities in Residential Kitchens require a license or permit either as a Retail Residential Kitchen or as a Wholesale Residential Kitchen.

Anyone producing food for sale “direct to the consumer” is considered a Retail Residential Kitchen and is required to have a town permit under 105 CMR 590.

  • “Direct to the consumer” includes events like farmers markets, craft fairs, and sales by internet or mail. 
  • Anyone that makes food in a Residential Kitchen in Massachusetts that wants to sell in another state should confirm that they are in compliance with both Federal law and the state laws where they are doing business.

Anyone producing food for sale at wholesale, for example, to a supermarket or restaurant that will re-sell to the ultimate consumer, is considered a Wholesale Residential Kitchen and is required to have a State License or Permit under 105 CMR 500.  

The MA Department of Public Health has several resources available explaining the state requirements around Residential Kitchens. 

Although not required by the Food Code or local regulations, it is recommended that the residential kitchen person-in-charge hold a Food Safety Manager Certification and an Allergen Awareness Certification.  More information about this training can be found here: Retail food | 

Please contact the Health Department with any questions about Residential Kitchens at or 508-261-7366. 

Permit Applications

All Health Department Permits are processed through an online platform located here:

All permit applications must be submitted via this platform. Paper applications are no longer accepted. New users must register first by using the link on the website above or by going directly to:

If you don't have regular access to a computer, an online permit station has been established in Town Hall on the first floor.

A guide to Permit Eyes for the Health Department is available here: Mansfield Health Department Online Permitting Guide

If you have any technical questions or issues, you can contact

For non-technical questions, you can contact