Experiences involving food
This information page can help you get started in learning about some of the laws and registration requirements that may apply to your experiences on Airbnb.
Please understand that this information page is general, not comprehensive, and is not legal advice. These pages are intended to give you an idea of the types of rules that may apply to your experiences and to help you understand some of the things to consider in relation to your experience.
Different countries, states, and cities have different licensing requirements and rules and it is your responsibility as a host to make sure you comply with local laws and regulations. These pages are not intended to be an explanation of the specific rules that apply in your jurisdiction, or your particular situation, nor are these pages a substitute to seeking legal advice. If you are unsure about how local laws or this information may apply to you or your experiences, we encourage you to check with official sources or seek legal advice.
Please note that we don’t update this information in real time, so you should confirm that the laws or procedures have not changed recently.*
What are some of the basic principles for any experience involving food?
Most countries have health and safety rules around the handling and serving of food and it’s a good idea to keep your health and safety, and that of your guests, at the top of your mind. For example, it’s a good idea to:
- Familiarize yourself with official sources or seek legal advice to understand the rules that apply to the handling and serving of food.
- If your experience involves you cooking or handling food (including serving food prepared by others), it’s a good idea to handle, prepare and serve food safely, with good sanitation, and in accordance with any local food laws.
- Ask your guests in advance about any food allergies they may have, or religious or philosophical codes that may impact what kind of food they eat.
- If your experience may include alcohol, it’s a good idea to check our information page on experiences involving alcohol.
I want to serve home-cooked food to guests visiting my home. Are there any specific rules I need to follow?
If you are thinking of serving home-cooked food to paying guests, or cooking food at a location where food is not normally prepared (such as a “pop up”), an important question to ask yourself is whether this triggers regulations under your local laws.
In most jurisdictions, activities that involve handling, serving or selling food, or providing food-related services, to members of the public are regulated activities. This means that in some places, in order to carry out such activities it may first be necessary to register with or obtain a certification or licence from a public or local health department. In most cases, there are likely to be sanitation criteria that must be met. In some jurisdictions, food service regulations may also apply, even if you are not preparing the food yourself, and even if you are offering it for free.
Is there anything else I should think about?
In some jurisdictions, it may be necessary to obtain a general business licence in order to be able to sell food to members of the public.
It is a good idea to check with your local zoning board or planning authority to find out whether any local rules limit the ways in which the property for your experience may be used.
You may also want to look into what tax rules may apply to your activity, and check whether you are legally required to obtain special insurance cover.
If your experience will involve combining food with another activity (for example, providing a food tour of restaurants), please take a look at our other information sections such as Responsible Hosting for tour or travel-related experiences to determine if any other rules may apply to your activity.
Dealing with food can be tricky. If you are unsure about anything relating to your Experience, we encourage you to check with your local department of health directly, or speak to a lawyer, to discuss your experience and confirm your experience complies with local laws including health, tax, and insurance requirements.
* Please note that Airbnb has no control over the conduct of hosts and disclaims all liability.
Airbnb is not responsible for the reliability or correctness of the information contained in any links to third party sites (including any links to legislation and regulations).
Failure of hosts to satisfy their responsibilities may result in suspension of activity or removal from the Airbnb website.
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