Selling Food from Your Home
Halt | July 29, 2022 | 0 Comments

Selling Food from Your Home: The Legal Aspects

Because the rules and regulations for selling food from your home vary depending on where your kitchen is located, they can be a little complicated.

Nevertheless, there are some rules and regulations you should know before you start preparing and selling food from your home. Although going through these rules and regulations may seem time-consuming, they are there to ensure the health and safety of your customers.

Aside from keeping your customers safe, compliance will also help you build a good reputation and a trustworthy brand.

Read on to learn about the legal requirements for your home-based food business – from licensing and labeling laws to professional kitchen cleaning.

General Requirements

Selling Food from Your Home

If you are based in the U.S., you must comply with Cottage Food Regulations. Cottage Food Regulations permit you to sell your products at events and farmer’s markets. They apply to dry mixes, nuts, popcorn, preserves, and baked goods.

Although Cottage Food Regulations are constantly changing and differ from state to state, there are five general requirements for compliance.

You’ll need to comply with a kitchen inspection conducted by the health department every year. To pass the kitchen inspection, you may need to purchase additional kitchen equipment (like refrigerators, storage areas, sinks, etc.) and take every precaution to ensure the space is clean. Regular professional cleaning and sanitization services are recommended.

You’ll also need the appropriate permits and zoning clearance to operate your food business from home – these are regulated by the local government.

You must also ensure that your kitchen environment is pet-free and that you store dry and cold ingredients correctly. Lastly, you’ll need a state business license.

Get in touch with your local Department of Agriculture and health department to learn what else you need to do to ensure compliance in your state.

Licensing, Certification, And Permits

selling home made food

Once your kitchen complies with your state’s food laws, you’ll need the correct permits and certifications to sell food.

The requirements for these permits and certifications differ from state to state. Still, you’ll usually need a state license, a permit from your county, and a certificate to show you have been trained correctly on food safety and handling.

Once you’ve completed your training and your home kitchen has been approved for business use, you may have to get additional permits and certifications to sell your food online.

Food Label Requirements

Food Label Requirements

You’ll need to comply with food label laws when you package your food products. Your customers should be able to see what ingredients are in the product – so include a detailed breakdown on your labels. Detailed labels will mitigate the liability for customers with allergies and dietary restrictions.

The Fair Packaging and Labeling Act also require any food product to disclose all its ingredients, weight, and net quantity. The name and location of your food business must also be displayed clearly on the label.

You should list your ingredients by order of their quantity and – starting with the largest and ending with the smallest amount. It’s also important to remember to highlight the most common food allergies (milk, tree nuts, eggs, peanuts, soy, wheat, fish, shellfish, etc.) on your packaging.

Final Words

By complying with local food laws and obtaining the proper certificates and permits, you can get your food business off the ground and ensure your customers are safe.

You should always keep your certifications and permits up-to-date and stay on top of any changes in the rules and regulations. Being proactive about compliance will also help you build a reputable brand and ensure repeat business from your customers. So, that’s all about selling food from your home for now. I hope you’ve enjoyed this article.

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