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Arizona Cottage Food Laws and Regulations: How to sell your homemade foods in Arizona
Arizona Cottage Food Laws, Regulations and Facts
Date of the enactment of the Arizona cottage food law: July
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.
Which foods are subject to the Arizona Cottage Food law?
The law limits cottage foods to baked and confectionary
goods and fruit jam and jelly. The state has an
approved foods page here.
- Breads (Sweet breads and Bread)
- Brownies and fudge
- Cakes (Cakes with hard icings or frostings)
- Caramel corn
- Chocolate Fudge
- Chocolate-covered fruit
- Chocolate-covered items
- Dry pasta
- Dry spice mixes
- Fruit jams and jellies (there are
special requirements for jams and jellies, see this page)
- Kettle corn
- Mixes Spices & Seasonings
- Pies (Fruit pies with fruit and sugar fillings)
- Pumpkin breads, cakes, cookies, muffins, and rolls
- Roasted Coffee Beans
- Roasted nuts
- Waffle cones
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
- Any foods that require refrigeration
- Acidified foods
- Beverages (coffee, soda, juice, etc.)
- Butter and spreads and Nut Butters
- Buttercream frostings
- Cakes with custard fillings
- Dehydrated Fruits and Vegetables
- Fillings, Frostings, and Icings (including ganache) that do
Arizona's Frosting Guidance
- Fruit butters
- Meat, fish, shellfish products
- Meat jerky
- Meringues, Cream or Custard Pie
- Nut butters
- Oils and Vinegars
- Pecan Pie
- Perishable baked goods
- Pet foods or pet treats
- Pickled and Fermented Foods
- Potato chips
- Pumpkin cheesecake
- Pumpkin Pie,
- Reduced oxygen packaged products
- Sweet Potato Pie,
- Custards, puddings, cupcakes or cakes with custard or cream
fillings, meringues, cheese cakes, cream or custard pies, and
other desserts with high pH and water activity are not allowed.
If the item that you want to make is not on this list, , please
Arizona State to see if it is non-potentially
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.
If your food product does not meet the definition of a Cottage
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
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
See this page for detailed information about selling foods that do
not meet the Cottage Food definition
- Kitchen - in your home; all Cottage Food
items prepared by a registrant of the program must be prepared
at the registrant's home, you may not make themn in a kitchen
outside of your home.
- Registration is required (it may be done online (easy and
- Most producers will also need to get a food handler card.
To register for the program,
- Obtain a food handler's card, if offered in the county in which you live; and next
- complete the Arizona online cottage foods registration form here. .
The Road Map is designed to allow you to figure out everything you
need to make your registration as smooth and easy as possible,
shortening the turnaround time.
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:
- Assessor's Office (for questions about business-related
- Planning & Zoning Office (for questions about zoning
restrictions on home-based businesses)
- City Clerk (for questions on local business license
- You may also want to contact your insurance company to
determine the impact (if any) of a home-based business on
homeowner's liability. In general, you will at least need to add
an "Umbrella policy"
Training and Food Handler Cards
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
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
See this page for a list of online training certificate programs
accredited by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI).
(changed on July 1, 2019)
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
- The name and registration number of the food preparer
(Registration numbers began July 1, 2019, Home address is no
longer required on the label.)
- A list of all the ingredients in the product
- The product's production date
- The following statement: "This product was produced in a
home kitchen that may process common food allergens and is not
subject to public health inspection."
- If applicable, a statement that the product was made in a
facility for individuals with developmental disabilities.
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.
Where may Cottage Food Production Operations sell the food products?
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:
- Take a food handler training course and then register online
with the Cottage Food Program.
- After you receive your certificate of registration through
your email, follow the guidelines for developing a package label
(see labeling below), and start making your product. As long as
your product is labeled appropriately, it can be sold in a
retail food establishment within Arizona.
- The location that you want to sell at must
1) allow you
to sell your goods in their retail food establishment and
ensure that the customer is notified that the product was made
in a private home.
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:
- Assessor's Office (for
questions about business-related property taxes)
- Planning & Zoning Office
(for questions about zoning restrictions on home-based
- City Clerk (for questions on
local business license requirements)
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.
ServSafe® training classes for Manager and employees, the 7th Edition Book that accompanies this course should be purchased here..
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 inspections 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
- Allergens: 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
Questions? Contact Information:
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.