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Indiana State Department of Health

Food Protection Home > Wholesale Information > Frequently Asked Questions Frequently Asked Questions

Can I use my home kitchen for my food business?

Both the Wholesale Food Establishment Sanitation Requirements and the Retail Food Establishment Sanitation Requirements prohibit the sale of foods that are manufactured or processed in the home kitchen. Therefore, food you plan to market must be prepared or manufactured in a kitchen or facility separate from your domestic living quarters. The separate facility must also be inspected by the State Health Department or local health department.

Can I start a wholesale food business out of my house?

A separate kitchen or facility may be built in the home with an entrance leading directly from that room to the outside. A basement, converted garage or building not used for any other purpose may be an acceptable option. Building codes and zoning laws must also be considered. It is best to contact the wholesale food protection program to determine if your particular home design is acceptable.

What is an approved kitchen?

An approved kitchen is a facility that is inspected by either the State Health Department or local health department and adheres to the Wholesale Food Code, if a wholesale facility, and the Retail Food Establishment Sanitation Requirements, if a retail facility. Food establishments that are both wholesale and retail must follow both sets of rules which are very similar.

Do I need a license for my business? Is there a fee involved?

The State of Indiana does not currently license any wholesale food establishments. There is a requirement that all wholesale facilities register with the State Health Department 30 days prior to opening. There is no fee involved with registration.

However, some local health departments do issue permits for their retail facilities and there may be a fee involved. If you plan to operate a retail facility, you will need to contact your local health department for this information.

Do I need to contact my local health department?

It is not necessary for wholesale facilities to contact their local health department. However, if you intend to sell any of your products retail, you should notify your local health department. They will provide the Retail Food Establishment Sanitation Requirements.

Do I need to submit building plans?

There is no wholesale requirement to submit building plans, but the floors, walls and ceilings must be smooth and easily cleanable. However, the retail code does require a plan review.