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Florida Cottage Food Law FAQs - Frequently Asked Questions

Florida Cottage Food Laws FAQs

Frequently asked questions about Florida's cottage food laws;

Date of the enactment of the Florida cottage food law: June 2011. amended in May 2017 effective July 1, 2017. See this page for the summary of Florida Cottage Food rules

Can I make ____? FAQs

  • Can I make vanilla extract?
    Yes. Contact Department of Business and Professional Regulation, Division of Alcoholic Beverages and Tobacco for additional information about alcohol. Write us an email
    Please use our convenient contact form to submit any comments and/or questions you may have. In order to better serve you, please include as much information as possible about the nature of your request.Our Customer Contact Center (CCC) can be reached at 850.487.1395
    .http://www.myfloridalicense.com/dbpr/alcoholic-beverages-and-tobacco/
    http://www.myfloridalicense.com/dbpr/abt/documents/abt_frequently_asked_questions_000.pdf
  • Can I make and sell food containing hemp extract as defined in s. 581.217, F.S.?
    [Please note that this includes CBD, THC or any other compound from the hemp plant.] No. Any food containing CBD, THC or any other compound from the hemp plant must be processed in a permitted regulated food facility.
  • Can I make homemade icings/frostings from dairy based cream cheeses and/or buttercream (with real butter)?
    No. Cream cheese and butter icings are not allowed to be produced under cottage food. These items require refrigeration due to the high-water content (made from cow's milk) and are considered a TCS food. Margarine (vegetable oils), Shortening (solidified fat), vegan butter/margarine (made with vegetable oils) would be considered permissible.
  • Can I produce homemade syrups, such as elderberry syrup?
    No. These products must be processed under a food regulatory authority. If not properly processed, heat treated and packaged, syrups can contain high levels of water activity which can support pathogenic growth and toxins. Additionally, Elderberry syrup also contains the alkaloid, sambucine, which can lead to nausea, vomiting or more serious effects.
  • Can I make homemade nut butters from ground shelled nuts (peanuts, almonds, cashews)?
    Yes. Ground nuts are not considered TCS, and therefore may be sold under a cottage setting. All applicable allergens MUST be identified on the product's label.
  • Are pet treats considered cottage food?
    No. The cottage food guidance document applies to human food only.
  • Can I produce and sell cooked vegetable products like salsas, tomato sauces, spaghetti sauces, or focaccia bread with roasted vegetables as a cottage food?
    No. Food products made with cooked vegetable products do not qualify under the cottage food guidance document.
  • Can I produce salsa, barbeque sauce, mustard and other "wet" products?
    No. These food products must meet significant federal and state requirements.
  • Can I roast coffee beans in my home kitchen and sell them?
    Yes. You can roast and sell whole bean coffee or ground coffee; however, you may not sell ready-made coffee and you may not wholesale the product.
  • Can I make liquid beverages/drinks?
    No. Drinks and beverages are not allowed.
  • Can I bake bread in a wood fired oven?
    Yes, provided that the oven is in your home kitchen.
  • Can I make and sell cake pops?
    Yes, provided the cake pops do not have a filling that is not allowed or inedible decorations (e.g. disco dust).
  • Can I make and sell caramel and candy apples?
    Yes, as long as the apples are raw and intact.
  • Can I make and sell apple butter or other fruit butters?
    Yes. Butters made from fresh fruits are considered cottage food products. Fruit butters have significantly less sugar than a traditional jam or jelly. It is the combination of acid, sugar, pectin and heat that assures the safety of jams/jellies.
  • Can I make and sell vegetable butters such as pumpkin butter?
    No. Butters using vegetable are not allowed.
  • Can I sell raw honey?
    Yes, but ONLY if you harvest the honey from the hives, package and sell the product yourself.
  • Can I purchase bulk honey, repackage and sell the bottles of honey?
    No. This is considered a manufacturing process that requires a food permit from FDACS.
  • Can I make and sell pumpkin and sweet potato pies?
    No. Pies using these vegetables are not allowed.
  • Can I make vanilla extract?
    Yes. Contact Department of Business and Professional Regulation, Division of Alcoholic Beverages and Tobacco for additional information about alcohol.
  • Can I make tinctures?
    Yes. Contact Department of Business and Professional Regulation, Division of Alcoholic Beverages and Tobacco for additional information about alcohol.
  • Can I press and sell apple cider?
    No. Apple cider is not a food allowed to be produced under cottage food, and beverages are not allowed.
  • Can I grind wheat and other grains and make them into flour?
    Yes. You may grind any type of grain into flour, provided the packaging and labeling requirements are met.
  • Can I make and sell dehydrated meats under the Cottage Food Law?
    No. Dehydrated meats and jerky are not allowed.
  • Can I make and sell foods with meat fillings such as empanadas?
    No. Meat products or foods with meat fillings are not allowed.
  • Can I make and sell hard candies or lollipops?
    Yes. Hard candies, such as lollipops or peppermint candies are allowed.
  • Can I make and sell sweet breads, muffins or other baked goods made with fresh fruits and vegetables like zucchini, pumpkin and strawberries?
    Yes, but only if the fruits or vegetables are incorporated into the batter and properly baked, labeled and packaged. The baked goods may not be decorated or garnished with fresh fruits or vegetables.
  • Can I use homegrown fruits and vegetables in baked goods?
    Yes. You should take care to thoroughly wash the homegrown produce and the fruits or vegetables must be incorporated into the batter and properly baked, labeled and packaged. The baked goods may not be decorated or garnished with fresh fruits or vegetables. Can homegrown produce be canned and used for making baked goods, like sweet breads, at a later date? No. Home canned products cannot be used to make cottage food. Commercially canned fillings such as canned pumpkin, cherry pie filling, etc. can be used.
  • Can I freeze homegrown produce and use it for making baked goods, like sweet breads?
    Yes, as long as the frozen fruits or vegetables are incorporated into the batter and properly baked, labeled and packaged. The baked goods may not be decorated or garnished with fresh or frozen fruits or vegetables.
  • Can I make and sell dry bread mixes or instant bread mixes?
    Yes. Any kind of dry baking mix such as dry bread mixes are an acceptable products to produce and sell.
  • Does my chocolate fountain business qualify as a cottage food business?
    If your business is involved in any processing, preparation and storage of food items, including offsite, this food service business would not be eligible to operate under the cottage food guidance document and would require a food license from the Department of Business and Professional Regulation. If your service is hired to deliver the fountain equipment to the event but the food product is purchased and delivered for each individual event and assembled at the event, it would be considered a cottage food business.
  • If you want to sell honey from your hives, see this page.

Who, Where and How can cottage foods be sold

  • Can I sell cottage food under a permitted or licensed vendor such as a mobile unit, at a farmer's market or another temporary event?
    No. Cottage food products may not be sold with or associated with a regulated food business under the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services or Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation. All cottage food products must be sold separately from non-cottage food products.
  • How do I sell my cottage food products?
    You may sell your cottage food products from your residence directly to the consumer. Sales are also approved at farmers' markets, flea markets and roadside stands, provided you have no other food items in your space that require a food permit.
  • If I have a roadside stand that is already inspected and permitted, can I also sell my cottage food products?
    No. A permitted food establishment cannot sell cottage food products since they originate from an unapproved source.
  • Can I use the internet and my website to sell my cottage food products?
    Yes. The law allows orders and payments over the internet, however; cottage food products must be delivered directly to the consumer or to the consumer's private event venue such as a wedding or birthday party.
  • Can I sell my cottage food products to restaurants?
    No. Cottage food is not allowed to be sold to local restaurants or grocery stores. These types of sales are considered "wholesale" and are not allowed under the law.
  • Can I place my cottage food products in a store or restaurant on consignment?
    No. Cottage food products cannot be sold on consignment. The sale must be person-to-person which means from the producer to the actual consumer.
  • Can I sell my cottage food products to a wholesaler, broker or distributor?
    No. Under the cottage food guidance document, it is not legal for a producer to sell to a wholesaler, broker or distributor who would then resell the product.
  • Can nonprofit organizations produce and sell cottage food products?
    No. Nonprofits do not have a single-family domestic residence, and therefore do not qualify as a cottage food business. Can I sell my cottage food products for special events such as wedding and birthday parties? Yes, provided the cottage food products are produced and sold by the cottage food operator themselves and delivered by the cottage food operator to the specific event venue.
  • The farmer's market where I want to sell my products says I need a food license, even though I am a cottage food business. Can the market require a license?
    Yes. Even though an entity may meet the requirements of a cottage food operation, some farmers' markets or other direct marketing venues may require vendors to have a food establishment license or to meet other requirements. Local policies enacted by farmer's market boards and other local governing bodies are generally outside the scope of any cottage food regulations.
  • Can cottage food products be picked up or distributed by a third party?
    No. Cottage food products must be delivered and distributed directly to the consumer or the consumer's private event venue by the cottage food operator.
  • Can the county or city restrict me from having a cottage food operation?
    Yes. County, city, and local governments can enact laws restricting a cottage food operation in your home. Check with the licensing agency in your area for details.
  • I lease space in a retail building where I operate a small antique shop. As a cottage food baker, can I sell my own baked goods from my shop under the current Cottage Food Guideline?
    No. Since your small antique store does not meet the definition of a cottage food operation, you would not be able to sell your cottage food products from this type of location.

Locations FAQs

  • Can I make cottage food products in an outbuilding on my property, like a shed or a barn?
    No. Outbuildings such as sheds or barns are not allowed.
  • Can I make and sell cottage food products from my motor home kitchen, cottage or summer home under the cottage food guidelines?
    No. Cottage foods may only be made in the kitchen of your primary residence. Second homes, vacation homes or motor homes do not qualify if they are not your primary residence.
  • Can I make cottage food products in a rented kitchen and sell them under the cottage food guidelines?
    No. Cottage food can only be made in the kitchen of your home.
  • Are there any special requirements regarding my home on-site well?
    Only potable water from a properly constructed on-site well or municipal water system can be used.
  • Are there any concerns related to my home septic system?
    Depending on the nature and volume of the food products you will make for sale, there can be adverse effects to the existing system serving the home. The adequacy of the home system to handle additional wastewater loading can be evaluated by the local health department. The health department can advise you if modifications to the existing system may be needed.

More resources:

Questions? Contact Information:

Contact the state at 850-245-5520 if you have questions.

Division of Food Safety 1 800 HELP-FLA


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