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Date of the enactment of the Arizona cottage food law: July 2011.
It limits producers to just baked goods, confections and some jams, jellies, preserves, fruit butters, but there is no sales limit, and getting started is easy.
The law limits cottage foods to baked and confectionary goods and fruit jam and jelly. The state has an approved foods page here.
Please note that although eggs, milk, and other dairy products are considered potentially hazardous, they are allowed to be used as ingredients within the dough or batter of baked goods (such as breads, cookies, and cakes).
Everything other than baked goods and confections . For example, jams and jellies, are prohibited. Why is some food considered potentially hazardous? Food is often considered potentially hazardous because it contains moisture, usually regarded as a water activity greater than 0.85, contains protein, or is neutral to slightly acidic, typically a pH of 4.36 and 7.5.
Some examples of prohibited foods (by no means is this all-inclusive)
If the item that you want to make is not on this list, , please contact Arizona State to see if it is non-potentially hazardous.
AZ used to have a list of previously approved foods, but now it is only a list of all people where were given approvals, sorted by location. There is not a lot of use to that page, so I would refer you instead to the AZ approved foods page instead.
Don't give up. You may still be able to make and sell it commercially, through a startup approach. If the item that you want to make is NOT on the approved list it is considered a "potentially hazardous good", and you would need to obtain a permit from your county environmental services office and produce the food products in a licensed and inspected commercial kitchen.
First, you may be able to rent space in a local licensed commercial kitchen.
Second, if that doesn't work, you may be able to get a co-packer to make the food for you.
If you really did want to get your kitchen licensed, you would need to contact your county's environmental health department to obtain the necessary license.
See this page for detailed information about selling foods that do not meet the Cottage Food definition
Arizona residents are required by ARS 36-136(H)(4)(g) to register for the Home Baked and Confectionery Goods Program to be authorized to produce products for commercial purposes. Registrants can also choose to sign up for email updates from the program which will include food safety information, product recalls, and healthy baked good recipes from the Arizona Department of Health Services.
To become a registered home baker, you need to obtain a food handler card or training certificate, as required by your county. Some counties issue a county-specific food handler card, some only require you to take a food handler training course, and others have no food handler training requirements at all. If your county does not require food handler training, you are still strongly encouraged to take a food handler training course. Here is a list of online training certificate programs accredited by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI).
See your county and municipality for:
Under ARS 36-136 (H)(4)(g), you are required to obtain a food handler's card or certificate, as required by your county. This food handler training requirement needs to be fulfilled before preparing any products under the Home Baked and Confectionery Goods Program.
Some counties issue a county-specific food handler card and some only require you to take a food handler training course online.
If your county does not require food handler training, you are still strongly encouraged to take a food handler training course.
See this page for a list of online training certificate programs accredited by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI).
Cottage Food Production Operations must label all of their food products properly, which includes specified information on the label of each unit of home baked good or Confectionery item when it is offered for sale:
More detailed Arizona Label requirements and a downloadable label format to customize can be found here. Depending on the size of your business, your label must comply with Federal label regulations and with the new nutritional labeling law. You can download a copy of the FDA Food Labeling Guide here it s an illustrated booklet that should answer all your questions.
Cottage Food Products may not be sold across state lines. Aside from that, you may can sell at any venue within the state, grocery stores, registered farm markets, church bake sales, schools, registered farmers markets, and sold and/or used in preparing food in a restaurant.
To sell at a local store, you must:
See this State of Arizona website for all the other details
Once you have your food handler training certificate/card and your certificate of registration, you may begin selling your goods. However, we do suggest that you contact the following people on the county and municipality level:
You may also want to contact your insurance company to determine the impact (if any) of a home-based business on homeowner's liability.
Beyond the requirements, common sense, good practices and reducing liability suggests you should do the following.
Take the ServSafe® training classes for Manager and employees, the 7th Edition Book that accompanies this course should be purchased here..
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.
Short-range paper 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.
Keep a written record of every batch of product made for sale, including:
Although inspections are not required, you should consider doing the following:
Office of Environmental Health
150 N. 18th Avenue, Suite 140
Phoenix, AZ 85007
(602) 364-3146 Fax
The University of Arizona Food Product and Safety Lab offers food testing services to food producers. They can test any type of food
product for a variety of different analyses. Contact phone, (520) 318-7021.
Water bath canner with a jar rack
Pressure canner for gas, electric and induction stoves
Canning scoop (this one is PERFECT)
Ball Blue book (most recent version)
most recent version of
the Ball Blue Book