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Cottage Food Laws in West Virginia [2024 Update]

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Overview of Guidance and Ordinances for Cottage Food Laws in West Virginia

The Farmers Market Vendor Guide serves as a comprehensive resource outlining standards and criteria for permissible food items and sales conditions at farmers' markets. Developed through collaboration between the West Virginia Department of Agriculture (WVDA), the West Virginia Farmers Market Association, and the West Virginia University Extension Service, it offers unified guidance for vendors, inspectors, and farmers. Farmers Markets in West Virginia are mandated to annually register with the WVDA, while Consignment Farmers Markets are further obligated to acquire a food establishment permit from their local health department, in addition to WVDA registration.

Food Labeling Requirements according to West Virginia Cottage Food Laws

Labeling requirements for Cottage Foods mandate the inclusion of the producer's personal details, the name of the item, a list of ingredients in descending order, and a disclaimer stating the exemption from state inspection due to being produced at a private residence. Additionally, a cautionary note about potential allergens must be displayed. These requirements ensure transparency, accountability, and consumer awareness regarding homemade food items.

Summarized Business Regulations for Cottage Food Laws in West Virginia

A Cottage Food Operation with a private water supply needs to undergo initial and annual testing, maintaining records to verify the water's safety by checking for coliform bacteria. The maximum allowable coliform levels must be below 1 colony-forming unit per 100 milliliters. If using municipal water, a certification of testing should be accessible for review, and if multiple water sources are employed, the user must confirm the designated source during food preparation. The West Virginia Department of Agriculture (WVDA) reserves the right to set further water quality standards to align with state guidelines, necessitating more frequent or supplementary testing for food safety assurance.

West Virginia

West Virginia Department of Agriculture

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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