The Cottage Food industry is growing nationwide. This industry/movement is regulated by each state and laws are being changed and updated each year. Visit Forrager.com for info on the various states and to access a community of cottage industry proprietors and proponents.
Here is more detailed information on the situation in our home state of Texas.
According to the Texas Department of State Health Services: A cottage food production operation is defined as an individual, operating out of the individual’s home, who:
- Produces a baked good, candy, coated and uncoated nuts, unroasted nut butters, fruit butters, a canned jam or jelly, a fruit pie, dehydrated fruit or vegetables, including dried beans, popcorn and popcorn snacks, cereal, including granola, dry mix, vinegar, pickles, mustard, roasted coffee or dry tea, or a dried herb or dried herb mix.
- Has an annual gross income of $50,000 or less from the sale of the described foods.
- Sells the foods produced directly to consumers at the individual’s home, a farmers’ market, a farm stand, or a municipal, county, or nonprofit fair, festival or event; and
- Delivers products to the consumer at the point of sale or another location designated by the consumer.
Examples of Food that can be Prepared at a Cottage Food Production Operation
- Breads, rolls, biscuits
- Sweet breads, muffins
- Cakes (birthday, wedding, anniversary, etc.
- Coated and uncoated nuts
- Unroasted nut butters
- Fruit butters
- Canned jams or jellies
- Fruit pies
- Dehydrated fruit or vegetables, including dried beans
- Popcorn and popcorn snacks
- Cereal, including granola
- Dry mixes
- Roasted coffee or dry tea
- Dried herbs and dried herb mixtures
What are the Rules Concerning Cottage Food Production?
You do not need a special permit or license from the Texas Department of State Health Services to operate a cottage food production operation. Howeber, goods sold by a cottage food production operation must be packaged and labeled. The label must state the following:
- The name and address of the cottage food production operation;
- The common or usual name of the product, if a food is made with a major food allergen, such as eggs, nuts, soy, peanuts, milk or wheat that ingredient must be listed on the label; and
- A statement: “This food is made in a home kitchen and is not inspected by the Department of State Health Services or a local health department.”
- The labels must be legible.
Title 25 of the Texas Administrative Code, Section 229.661 provides further guidance.
Important Cottage Food Production Links