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North Carolina Cottage Food Laws and Regulations: How to sell your homemade foods in North Carolina

North Carolina Cottage Food Checklist and Resources

North Carolina does not have a cottage food law, but you can still produce certain foods at home. See below the checklist for the details, restrictions, process and requirements.

Click here to open printable PDF copy

If you pass the checklist, you will still need to review the most current versions of state and federal food safety regulations, including:

  •  Code of Federal Regulations (21 CFR 110) also known as Good Manufacturing Practices (GMPs)
  •  Code of Federal Regulations (21 CFR 113) Thermally Processed Low-acid Foods Packaged in Hermetically Sealed Containers
  •  North Carolina Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act 
  • Code of Federal Regulations (21 CFR 114) Acidified Foods (e.g. pickles)
  •  Code of Federal Regulations (21 CFR 108) Emergency Permit Control
  • Local laws and ordinances, including zoning and small business permitting.

Local government contacts will also be helpful, see:

County government links:

City or town government links: 



Where can I get help developing a business plan and marketing my product?

The NC Home Processing website at  provides information about

  • filing for a tax number,
  • registering a business name, and
  • applying for UPC codes for your product.

Where do I get help help developing a business plan or a website?

See the NCDA&CS Marketing Division  at Marketing Division can help home processors build a web presence for their business through the NCDA&CS General Store, a directory of North Carolina agricultural goods and services.

 Where do you send your completed  home processing applicatio?

To submit a completed application, e-mail [email protected]  or mail to

Kaye Snipes, 169 Boone Square St., #168, Hillsborough, NC 27278.

Still more questions?

 For general questions, e-mail [email protected].  If you do not use e-mail or for more specific inquiries, contact a member of the Food and Drug Protection Division home processing staff:

  • Sherry Batot Food Regulatory Specialist (Central & Eastern NC) (919) 741-0361 [email protected].
  •  Kaye Snipes Food Regulatory Specialist (Piedmont & Western NC) (919) 608-9205 [email protected]. or
  •  Compliance Staff NCDA&CS Food and Drug Protection Division (919) 733-7366 [email protected] .

Additional Resources and Assistance

More information on labeling requirements is available from North Carolina State University's Department of Food, Bioprocessing and Nutrition Science Extension Program. The Extension Program also provides pH and water activity testing services for certain categories of food products, including acidified foods such as pickles (pH testing), dressings/sauces (pH testing), and "moist" breads/cakes and some pies (water activity and pH). Contact the Food and Drug Protection Division (see below) if you are uncertain whether your product requires testing.


Food Program, Anita MacMullan, Food Administrator
Mailing Address: 1070 Mail Service Center, Raleigh NC 27699-1070
Physical Address: 4000 Reedy Creek Road, Raleigh NC 27607-6465
Phone: (919) 733-7366; FAX: (919) 733-6801


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