January 28, 2015

Are Changes On The Horizon For Cottage Food Laws?

cottage food businessIn this new year there are some interesting things afoot when it comes to Cottage Food Laws in different states.

A bill is making its way through Connecticut’s state may join 41 other states by allowing food producers to create specific items in their home kitchen which they can sell to the general public.  With so many other states enacting cottage food laws in recent years, hopes are high that Connecticut will soon join their ranks.

Virginia, which has had cottage food laws for many years, is considering taking it a step further by allowing items that would typically require significant more oversight – such as unpasteurized milk and meat – to be sold to the public as long as they are sold by the farm that produced them.

Virginia and Wyoming also have bills under consideration that would alleviate home food producers from any type of licensing, health permitting, and kitchen inspections.  In Virginia’s case, businesses that would benefit would be required to put strict labeling on their packaging to alert consumers but Wyoming’s bill wouldn’t require any special labeling or packaging as long as the products are sold directly to consumers and not sold wholesale.

It will be interesting to see what happens with these bills this year and how the approach of lawmakers to ‘home’ food products is slowly changing.

As a reminder, cottage food laws – including what products can and cannot be produced at home and how they are allowed to be sold – vary from state to state.  You need to investigate your state’s specific regulations before starting a food business out of your home kitchen.

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