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Connecticut Cottage Food Laws FAQs
Connecticut Cottage Food Laws, Regulations and Facts
These FAQs refer to the Connecticut Cottage food laws which went
into effect on October 1, 2018.
page for the overview and general information. And these pages
- Am I required to send my products to a laboratory to
obtain an official ingredient list, or is that something I
may put together on my own?
No. You are not required to have
your products analyzed by a laboratory to obtain an official
ingredient list. You must, however, list all ingredients, in
descending order of predominance by weight. If you use a
prepared item in your recipe, you must list sub-ingredients as
- If I make and sell wedding cakes, how should
I meet the labeling requirements when I am unable to put a
label on a cake?
For wedding cakes, birthday cakes and
other specialty cakes that are not easily packaged, you must
include all labeling requirements on the invoice and deliver
the invoice with the cake. Smaller cakes must be boxed, and
the label must be included on the box.
- Why are some products not allowed to be made and sold?
The allowable products list is based on the food safety risk level
associated with certain types of food. People who operate a licensed
and inspected food processing business have to meet more rigorous
requirements for training, food safety and handling, which is why they
may make and sell a broader range of food.
- May I produce and sell
cooked vegetable products, like salsas, tomato sauces, spaghetti
sauces, or focaccia bread with roasted vegetables?
vegetables, whether fresh or canned, usually are made from a
combination of low acid and acidified food, and are considered a
potentially hazardous food. Cooked vegetables must be kept either hot
(above 135°F) or cold (below 41°F). They cannot be stored safely at
room temperature, which makes them ineligible for production in a
cottage food operation.
- May I roast coffee beans in my home kitchen
and sell them?
Yes. You may roast and sell whole bean coffee or
ground coffee. However, beverages may not be sold, so you may not
sell ready-made coffee.
- May I bake bread in a wood-fired oven?
Yes, as long as that oven is in your approved home kitchen.
- May I
make and sell apple butter, pumpkin butter or other fruit butters?
No. 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 or jellies. In fruit butters, the
combination of sugar and pectin is not sufficient to assure that the
fruit butter is safe.
- May I press and sell apple cider?
Beverages, including apple cider, are not allowed to be produced and
- May I make and sell dehydrated meat or poultry?
Meat and poultry are a potentially hazardous food and may not be
produced and sold as cottage food.
- May I make and sell hard candies
Yes, but only if they are non-potentially hazardous.
- May I make and sell dry bread or "instant" bread mixes?
- Does my chocolate fountain business qualify as a cottage food
In most cases, no. "I deliver and set up the fountain,
and provide chocolate dipping sauce and items to dip (cut up fruit,
pretzels, etc.) that I have prepared in my home kitchen."
type of business outlined below describes you, you do not qualify as
a cottage food business. Cottage food products must be prepackaged
and properly labeled prior to sale.
- May I
make and sell sweet breads, muffins or other baked goods made with
fresh or homegrown fruits and vegetables like zucchini, pumpkin, and
Yes, as long as the fruits or vegetables are
incorporated into the batter and properly baked, labeled and
packaged. You should make sure to wash all fruits and vegetables
properly before use. The baked goods may not be decorated or
garnished with fresh or frozen fruits or vegetables.
The rules above apply to homegrown or fresh products that have been
frozen and saved for use at a later date.
- May homegrown produce be
canned and used for making baked goods, like sweet breads, at a later
No. However, you may use commercially canned products for baked
goods, like cherry pie filling, etc. Most home canned products are
not approved for production, with the exception of jams and jellies
that meet 21CFR150.
- Where may I store ingredients and finished
products for my cottage food business?
Ingredients and finished
cottage food products may be stored in the permitted area of your
private residential dwelling. The permitted area of your home must
include your kitchen, and may include areas such as a spare room or a
basement that is free of dampness or water, pests or other unsanitary
conditions. You may not use a garage, shed, barn or other outbuilding
as a storage facility for your cottage food business.
- What is the meaning of
"allergen labeling, as specified in federal labeling requirements"?
You are responsible for following these federal labeling requirements.
As of July 2018, you must identify any of your ingredients that are made
from one of the following food groups: milk, eggs, wheat, peanuts,
soybeans, fish (including shellfish, crab, lobster or shrimp) and tree
nuts (such as almonds, pecans or walnuts).
- If you have an ingredient
made with a wheat-based product, you have two options:
allergen in the ingredient list. For example, the following
ingredient listing: "whole wheat flour, water, salt and yeast," meets
the requirements of federal law because of the statement "whole wheat
Include an allergen statement ("Contains:") after the
ingredient list. For example, a white bread with whole wheat flour,
water, sodium caseinate, salt and yeast should say, "Contains: wheat
- The "Contains" statement must reflect all of the allergens
found in the product. In this example, the sodium caseinate comes
- Are there any special requirements for allergen labeling
on products that use tree nuts?
Yes. If your cottage food has tree
nuts as an ingredient, you must identify which tree nut you are
For example, if you made nut bread, an acceptable ingredient
list would be:
Ingredients: wheat flour, water, almonds, salt,
The following would not be acceptable:
water, nuts, salt, yeast.
- Do I have to include my home address on my
product label or is a post office box sufficient?
You must use the
physical address of your home kitchen on your product label, not a
post office box. Including an address on a product label enables
authorities to locate a business in case of a recall or trace back
associated with a foodborne illness complaint or outbreak.
- May I utilize commercial equipment such as large rotary
mixers in my cottage food operation?|
No. Typically a private kitchen
is not equipped with sinks required to effectively wash, rinse and
sanitize large commercial equipment.
- Does my equipment, stove and/or
refrigerator need to be NSF (a food equipment evaluation group)
No. As a cottage food operator, you are not required to
meet NSF standards for your equipment.
Questions? Contact Information:
Connecticut Department of Consumer Protection
Food and Standards Division:
Phone: (860) 713-6160