Requirements for In-Home Bakeries

Plans, Specifications, Permits and Inspections

  1. Complete and submit application and fee for the Home Food Establishment License to Black Hawk County Health Department.
  2. Comply with all building, electrical and plumbing codes and ordinances.
  3. Contact your zoning authority to determine if approval must be obtained to operate a business from the home.
  4. Provide proposed food items.
  5. A pre-opening inspection and approval by this office are required before opening the business.


  1. All foods items must be from a licensed/approved source.
  2. All foods must be of sound condition, free from spoilage, filth or contamination.
  3. All food items must be stored in the original container or properly labeled in a closed container.
  4. Foods must be stored at least 6” off of the floor.
  5. Food labels must contain the name and address of the person preparing the food, common name for the food, a list of ingredients in descending quantity.
  6. Labels must include major food allergen information. Milk, egg, fish & crustaceans, tree nuts, wheat, peanuts and soybeans.
  7. All potentially hazardous foods must be held at proper temperatures.
    a. Cold holds need to be at 41° F.
    b. Hot holds need to be at 135° F.
    c. Frozen foods must be kept frozen. Freezer temperature should be at 0°F.
    d. Do not thaw foods at room temperature.

Food Handlers

  1. All food handlers must be free or contagious diseases, sores or infected wounds.
  2. All food handlers must wear a hair restraint.
  3. All food handlers must keep themselves clean and keep their clothing clean.
  4. Bare hand contact with ready to eat foods is not allowed. Food handlers must use food service gloves, tongs or deli tissues.
  5. Smoking is not allowed when preparing or handling food or in the food storage areas.
  6. Pets are not allowed in the food handling area or in the storage area.


  1. All wares must be washed, rinsed and sanitized.
  2. All food contact surfaces must be smooth, easily cleanable and non-absorbent.
  3. Walls, floors, ceilings, machinery, equipment, supplies and utensils must be kept clean.
  4. Vehicles used for transportation of food must be kept clean.

Plumbing, Sinks and Restrooms

  1. An adequate supply of hot and cold potable water is required and must come from an approved source.
  2. If water source is a private well, water must be tested annually for nitrates and bacteria. Additionally, prior to operation, a safe bacterial and nitrate water sample must be documented with our office.
  3. A restroom equipped with a handwash sink is required. Hot and cold running water, hand soap and paper towels are required. Cloth towels are not allowed for hand drying.
  4. If there is an on-site septic system, the septic must be approved by the county sanitarian. Additionally, a grease trap is required.

Other Operations

  1. Garbage and refuse containers must be durable, non-absorbent and easy to clean.
  2. Garbage containers must be insect and rodent proof.
  3. Container must be place on a solid surface and be leak proof.
  4. Garbage and refuse must be removed from premise regularly.
  5. Outside premise must be maintained.
  6. Chemicals must be separate from foods, food product or food containers.
  7. Food grade safe sanitizer and test strips are required.
  8. The Health Department highly recommends that owners and operators of food establishments complete a nationally recognized food safety certification.