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Cottage Food Laws in California [2024 Update]

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Overview of Guidance and Ordinances for Cottage Food Laws in California

California's Cottage Food Law permits individuals to produce and sell certain low-risk food products from their home kitchens. Established in 2013 under the California Homemade Food Act (AB-1616), it allows for the sale of non-potentially hazardous foods, such as baked goods, jams, and granola, directly to consumers. The law outlines specific food types, production limits, labeling requirements, and other guidelines for cottage food operations in the state.

Food Labeling Requirements according to California Cottage Food Laws

Labeling requirements for cottage food products entail adherence to specific state and federal regulations. Such labels typically consist of two key sections: the Principal Display Panel (PDP) and the Information Panel. The PDP, located at the front of the package, showcases the product name and net quantity, while the Information Panel, usually adjacent to the PDP, includes the nutrition facts. Computer-generated labels are acceptable if they present all required details legibly for the average consumer. For a comprehensive understanding, a guide to labeling requirements for processed foods is available, and federal regulations can be found in the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act and 21 CFR Part 101.

Summarized Business Regulations for Cottage Food Laws in California

In California, the Department of Public Health doesn't directly permit or register Cottage Food Operations (CFOs), but they oversee an approved list of foods allowed for CFOs. These operations can prepare and package specific low-risk foods in a private home kitchen, as listed in the Approved Cottage Food List. For inquiries or to apply for registration or permits for a CFO, individuals should reach out to their local Environmental Health Department.


California 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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