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Florida Cottage Food Laws and Regulations: How to sell your homemade foods in Florida
Florida Cottage Food Laws, Regulations and Facts
Date of the enactment of the Florida cottage food law: June 2011.
amended in May 2017 effective July 1, 2017
Which foods are subject to the Florida Cottage Food law?
- Loaf breads, rolls, biscuits Cakes, pastries and cookies
- Candies and confections
- Jams, jellies and preserves
- Fruit pies
- Dried fruits
- Dry herbs, seasonings and mixtures
- Homemade pasta
- Cereals, trail mixes and granola
- Coated or uncoated nuts
- Vinegar and flavored vinegars
- Popcorn, popcorn balls
- You may roast and sell coffee beans
- Salsa, barbecue sauces, ketchups and/or mustards
- Canned fruits and vegetables, chutneys, vegetable butters
- Flavored oils, hummus, garlic dip and salsas
- Fish or shellshell products
- Canned pickled products such as corn relish, pickles,
- Raw seed sprouts
- Bakery goods which require any type of refrigeration such as
cream, custard or meringue pies and cakes or pastries with cream
cheese icings or filllings
- Eggs, milk and dairy products including hard, soft and
cottage cheeses and yogurt
- Cut fresh fruits and/or vegetables.
- Juices made from fresh fruits or vegetables , like apple
- Ice and/or ice products
- Fresh or dried meat, or meat products including jerky
- Foccaccia-style breads with vegetables and/or cheeses
- Any food that requires pressure canning (also called retort canning)
- Any processing of acidified foods (like pickles)
If your food product does not meet the definition of a Cottage
Food, you may still be able to make and sell it commercially,
through a startup approach.
See this page for detailed information about selling foods that do
not meet the Cottage Food definition.
- Cottage Food Operation means a person who produces or
packages cottage food products at his or her residence and sells
such products in accordance with Section 500.80, Florida
- Cottage Food Product means food that is not a potentially
hazardous food, as defined by FDACS rule, which is sold by a
cottage food operation in accordance with Section 500.80,
- Residence is defined to mean a primary residence that is
occupied by an individual who operates a cottage food operation
and that contains a single kitchen with appliances designed for
common residential usage. The residence may only contain one
stove or oven, which may be a double oven designed for
- Potentially Hazardous Food means a food that requires
time/temperature control for safety (TCS) to limit pathogenic
microorganism growth or toxin formation; An animal food that is
raw or heat-treated; a plant food that is heat-treated or
consists of raw seed sprouts, cut melons, cut leafy greens, cut
tomatoes or mixtures of cut tomatoes that are not modi ed in a
way so that they are unable to support pathogenic microorganism
growth or toxin formation; or garlic-in-oil mixtures that are
not modi ed in a way so that they are unable to support
pathogenic microorganism growth or toxin formation.
Cottage food operations require no license or permit from the
Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDACS) and
are not inspected by any state government entity. But... local
governments can enact ordinances restricting a cottage food
operation in a personal residence. Always check with the zoning
agency in your City or County regarding their home business
Cottage food products must be labeled in accordance with the
requirements of the Act.
See ths page for the complete labeling requirements, a sample label, and
a label template that you can download for free and use
Where may Cottage Food Production Operations sell the 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.
- Sell and deliver directly to consumers only:
Cottage food products must be sold and delivered directly to the
consumer or to the consumer's private event venue such as a
wedding or birthday party.
- No wholesale sales: Sales of cottage food products are
prohibited for wholesale.
- Only within Florida: Cottage food operators
can sell cottage foods only within the state of Florida and not
across state lines.
- Mail order: No Cottage food operators may
advertise for sale, offer for sale and accept payment for
cottage food products on their website but the products are
prohibited to be delivered by mail order.
- Internet sales: Yes. The law allows orders
and payments over the internet, however, the cottage food
products must be delivered directly to the consumer or to the
consumer's private event venue such as a wedding or birthday
- NOTE: A permitted food establishment cannot
sell cottage foods since they are from an unapproved source. For
example, you may not sell cottage foods to or at a restaurant.
- Gross sales for a cottage food
operation must not exceed $50,000 annually.
- On-site well Only potable water from a
properly constructed on-site well or municipal water system can
- Pet treats - pet treats are not considered
- Non-Profits do not qualify: Nonprofi ts do
not have a single family domestic residence, and therefore do
not qualify as a cottage food business.
- Local cities, counties and even HOA's can enact more
restrictive rules. A cottage food operation must
comply with all applicable county and municipal laws and
ordinances regulating the preparation, processing, storage and
sale of cottage food products.For example, Miami-Dade
requires that you obtain a business license. Lee County
requires that you obtain a Lee County Local Business Tax
account. A cottage food operation must comply with all applicable county and municipal laws and
ordinances regulating the preparation, processing, storage and sale of cottage food products.
Click here to view the Lee County tax application. To
find a Lee County tax office location near you click here.
- Cottage foods must be properly packaged and labeled.
Cottage food operators can serve free samples for tasting, but
the samples must be prepackaged.
- No outside help is allowed: as a Cottage Food
Operator in Florida hiring employees of any type, not temporary,
full-time, part-time or volunteers. This means you must do all
of the work yourself, and deliver it yourself.
- Samples: Cottage food operators can serve free samples for tasting, but the samples must be
Chronology / Updates
The rules were updated, effective July 1, 2017 to make 2 modifications (which are already
incorporated into the guidance above)::
- increasing the annual gross sales of cottage food products allowed under the law from $15,000
to $50,000, and
- allowing the producer to sell, offer for sale, and accept payment over the Internet, IF the
product is delivered in person directly to the consumer, or to a specific event venue.
Beyond the requirements, common sense, good practices and
reducing liability suggests you should do the following.
Testing of pH
It's best to use a pH meter, properly calibrated on the day
used. I use this one, which is reliable and inexpensive.
And this pH meter is really good, but isn't always available.
pH test strips, commonly known as litmus paper, may be used
instead, if the product normally has a pH of 4.0 or lower and the
paper's range includes a pH of 4.6.
Record-keeping is suggested
Keep a written record of every batch of product made for sale,
- Recipe, including procedures and ingredients
- Amount canned and sold
- Canning date
- Sale dates and locations
- Gross sales receipts
- Results of any pH test
Although iInspections are not required, you should consider doing
- Use clean equipment that has been effectively sanitized
prior to use
- Clean work surfaces and then sanitize with bleach water
before and after use
- Keep ingredients separate from other unprocessed foods
- Keep household pets out of the work area
- Keep walls and floors clean
- Have adequate lighting
- Keep window and door screens in good repair to keep insects
- Wash hands frequently while working
- Consider annual testing of water if using a private well
- Allergans: Most state home baking
acts require an "ingredient statement" and/or an "allergen
listing" on the label of the bakery item for sale; but if your
state does not, you should anyway. The eight major food
- crustacean shellfish,
- tree nuts,
- wheat and
- Cross-allergenicity: There are also
ingredients available, even flours, that can cause a
cross-allergenicity. The American Academy of Allergy Asthma &
Immunology explains cross-allergenicity as an allergic reaction
when proteins in one substance are similar to the proteins found
in another substance. For example, consumption of lupine flour
may trigger an allergic reaction to peanuts, and cricket flour
may trigger an allergic reaction to shellfish. Again, providing
such information might be a beneficial marketing tool and help
keep potential consumers safe.
- The 2 Hour/4 Hour Rule - Anyone
wishing to make and sell refrigerated bakery items should
remember to follow the "2 Hour/4 Hour Rule." This is a system
that can be implemented when potentially hazardous foods are out
of temperature control (temperatures greater than 45 degrees
Fahrenheit) during preparation, serving or display for sale. The
rule guidelines are as follows:
- If a potentially hazardous food has been out of
temperature control for 2 hours or less, then it may
continue to be used or be placed back in the refrigerator.
- If a potentially hazardous food has been out of
temperature control for more than 2 hours but less than 4
hours, it needs to be used quickly or discarded.
- If a potentially hazardous food has been out of
temperature control for more than 4 hours, it must be
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