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Cottage Food Laws in Alabama [2024 Update]

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Overview of Guidance and Ordinances for Cottage Food Laws in Alabama

"Cottage Food" refers to a specific category of non-potentially hazardous foods that are prepared in a personal home kitchen. These foods are characterized by their ability to remain safe without the need for time or temperature control to limit the growth of pathogenic microorganisms or the formation of toxins. Notably, cottage foods exclude meat, poultry, and fish products. However, the category encompasses a variety of other items. This includes baked goods such as cakes, breads, Danish pastries, donuts, other pastries, and pies. It also covers fruit-based products like jams, jellies, and fruit preserves, as well as confectioneries such as candy. The scope of cottage foods extends to dried and dehydrated items, including herbs, herb mixes, vegetables, fruits, and roasted coffee. Additionally, dried baking mixes are part of this category. Another significant inclusion is fermented or preserved vegetables or fruits that do not lead to alcohol production and maintain an acidity level as prescribed by the department, in accordance with Chapter 1 of the Food Code, specifically under the section pertaining to time/temperature control for safety food.

Food Labeling Requirements according to Alabama Cottage Food Laws

Label requirements for foods produced in a cottage food operation must adhere to specific guidelines. Each label should be printed in a font size of at least 10 points and must include several key pieces of information. Firstly, the label should state the common or usual name of the food. Additionally, it should prominently feature the name of the cottage food operation. The label must also provide the home or P.O. Box address of the cottage food operation. An important aspect of the label is a detailed list of ingredients contained in the food, presented in descending order of predominance. Furthermore, the label should include a statement clarifying that the food has not been inspected by the health department. Lastly, it is necessary to include a disclaimer on the label warning that the food may contain allergens.

Summarized Business Regulations for Cottage Food Laws in Alabama

A "Cottage Food Operation" refers to a business where a person operates from their home to produce and sell cottage food. This operation involves producing cottage food for sale and ensuring that the sale or delivery of this food is conducted directly to consumers within the state, whether in-person, via phone, or online. Operators must complete a department-approved food safety course and adhere to specific labeling requirements for all cottage foods sold. Additionally, they are required to complete and submit a cottage food review form to their local county health department, ensuring compliance with health and safety standards.


Alabama Department of Public Health

This dashboard is provided as an informational resource and is not affiliated with the above department. While we strive to keep our information accurate and up to date, we do not claim to provide official legal advice or representations regarding cottage food laws or any other regulations. Laws and regulations can change frequently, and they can vary significantly by location. We encourage all users to consult their local health department or a legal professional to obtain the most current information and advice specific to their circumstances.

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