of all food items that the user intends to prepare, store, taste-test, develop, package, or otherwise handle
or use for food-related purposes.
• As part of this consultation, the individual or entity should be required to
provide a Food Safety Manager Certificate or equivalent in the licensee’s
name or in the name of an employee
of the licensee, if the licensee intends
to prepare, taste, handle, package,
prepare for storage, serve, or otherwise use food; the name, address,
and license number of the shared
kitchen(s) the user intends to lease
space from; and a signed statement
of intent, or lease, from the owner
or operator of each licensed shared
kitchen that the applicant intends to
lease space from, including the start
date and end date (if applicable) for
• Based on the information provided,
the regulatory agency will assess
and assign a risk level to the shared-kitchen user. That risk level will be
based on criteria provided in these
guidelines. Additionally, the regulatory agency will review its records
on the licensed incubator kitchen to
confirm it is properly licensed and
capable of supporting the proposed
practices. The menu or product list
will be reviewed and approved.
Food Trucks, Commissaries, and
Food Safety in the Age of
Mobile food facilities (MFFs), or
food trucks, have always been understood as a scrappy, low-capital investment for starting, or extending, a food
business. Today, fleets of high-tech
MFFs are being increasingly considered
by large retail and foodservice brands to
be the investment needed to shorten the
distance between shifting locations of
online consumers and brick-and-mortar
stores. Mobile-cuisine.com reports that
industry revenue increased at an impressive annualized rate of 12. 4 percent during the 5 years between 2014 and 2018.
That growth could rise to $365 billion
by 2030, at which time most meals
and time of processing. The calendar should be shared with the appropriate food
safety regulatory jurisdiction when requested.
• Limiting operations to only those for which the kitchen has the appropriate
equipment, space, and facilities for production.
• Maintaining a file for each kitchen operator, including but not limited to the
business contract, business certificate, license, inspection results, and scheduled
• Identifying their rental capacity to regulatory representatives and not rent beyond
the identified capacity. Incubator owners may not overbook or schedule rentals
in a manner such that the needed capacity exceeds the identified capacity and
causes operators to process with insufficient production space.
• Having a method for dealing with storage for clients’ raw ingredients and finished
product. This can be accomplished in various ways:
° Best practice indicates that individual operators’ storage spaces should be sepa-
rated in locked cages if possible. All ingredients and finished products should
identify the operator with designated storage spaces, labels, tags, etc.
° Operators can rent their own off-site storage, which should also be licensed
and inspected. If the operator does not need storage, all ingredients must be
purchased on the way to the kitchen and used during the rental period. Remaining ingredients must be discarded or used for personal consumption.
° Finished products must be delivered to accounts directly after they are manufactured. They must not be stored. The kitchen manager is responsible for
ensuring that all ingredients used are commercially sealed.
• Providing guidance to incubator-kitchen operators regarding:
° Contract Agreements – The incubator-kitchen owner/manager should dis-
cuss the particular contractual agreement between the incubator kitchen and
incubator-kitchen operator. The contract agreements may include, but not
be limited to, rent, liability insurance, times of operations, list of foods to be
produced in the kitchen, food safety SOPs, cleaning and sanitizing, regulatory
agency inspection, licenses and permits.
° Jurisdiction – Various food safety regulatory jurisdictions throughout the
United States will be responsible for regulating incubator kitchens. The local
health departments will have jurisdiction in some cases, while state health or
agriculture departments will have jurisdiction in others. Some states operate
under a Memorandum of Understanding that will determine the appropriate
• Once the appropriate jurisdiction has been determined, the applicant for an
incubator-kitchen license will undergo a consultation with a representative from
the appropriate regulatory agency. An on-site inspection must be performed by
the regulatory agency prior to issuance of the license. The consultation should
include a review of proposed business practices, the type of equipment to be used
within the facility, food safety operations, and proposed menus, to include a list