The Cottage Food Industry has grown dramatically in the past several years – here in Utah and across the country. Cottage Foods (also known as Home Foods) are foods that are produced in private residences and then are often sold at outdoor markets, fairs, or other events. There are currently more than 400 cottage food businesses in Utah alone. If you’re interested in creating your own cottage food establishment, and you are in Utah you’ll need to apply for a license with the Utah Department of Agriculture and Food and meet a number or requirements. If you are in any other State, we suggest you check with the State’s Division to get your license in order. Here are some of the things you’ll need to know.
Types of Food Permitted
Cottage food establishments in Utah are not permitted to sell refrigerated or frozen food products, so if you are thinking of selling ice cream, you’ll need to find another way to get your product to market. Foods that are typically permitted include fruit pies, cookies, breads, candies, chocolate, honey, popcorn, dry mixes or jellies/jams/preserves. Note that for every food product you intend to sell, you’ll be required to submit a recipe with all the necessary ingredients, amounts and production steps as part of your application.
If you’re selling prepackaged products (products that are made and packaged before offered to the customer), they must have full labels on each product. Labels must contain the product name, note that the product is “Home Produced”, list all ingredients, allergen information, and net weight. See some sample labels here. Custom/special order foods are usually exempt from labeling requirements, although a complete ingredient list must be made available to the consumer upon request.
Submit a Plan
When you apply for your Cottage Food License, you’ll also need to provide a detailed plan as to where and how you’ll be producing your products, where they will be stored, and how they will be packaged, transported, and sold. There are numerous regulations surrounding the entire cottage food process – from where you store your utensils to what you use to clean and disinfect. The Utah Department of Agriculture and Food will inspect your kitchen/facility on a routine basis to ensure you are in compliance with all health and safety standards. Use this helpful checklist to ensure your operation will pass inspection.
Learn more about Cottage Food Production requirements and the application process.
If you truly want to enter the cottage food industry, it’s time to take your cooking/baking skills to the next level. Park City Culinary Institute can help. Whether you’d like to get your Professional Certificate in the Culinary Arts, Cuisine Certificate, or Pastry & Baking Certificate to prepare you for a rewarding career or just to become a better home cook, our culinary programs are convenient to all of the Salt Lake City area and online. To learn more, visit our website, give us a call at 801-413-2800 today!