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Cottage Foods Fact Sheet from the Miami County Health District

What is a cottage food production operation?

A cottage food production operation is defined in the Ohio Revised Code Chapter 3715 to
mean a person who, in the person's own home, produces food items that are not
time/temperature controlled for safety (TCS).  The specific foods are LIMITED and listed
below.  All foods must be shelf-stable and not require refrigeration for safety.

Where can I make cottage foods?

You may only make cottage foods from the primary residence occupied by the residence¡¦s
owner.  The home may only contain one stove or oven (which may be a double oven)
designed for common residential use, not commercial use.

What kinds of cottage foods can I make?  What can't I make?

Approved cottage foods are LIMITED to the following items:

  • Jams
  • Jellies
  • Candy
  • Fruit butters
  • Tea (dry)
  • Coffee (dry)
  • Pizzelles
  • Herbs (dry)
  • Waffle cones
  • Seasoning mixes (dry)
  • Doughnuts (baked, unfilled)
  • Cereal/nut snack mixes (dry)
  • Baking mixes in a jar (dry)
  • Granola and granola bars (dry)
  • Popcorn (includes flavored)
  • Bakery foods (cookies, cakes, etc) that are non-perishable (non-TCS foods)

    Acidified foods, low-acid canned foods, and vacuum packaged foods are NOT permitted.

    Where can I sell cottage food products?

    Cottage food products that are properly labeled may be sold:
    1. Directly to the end consumer from the site of preparation (home).
    2. Through licensed grocery stores.
    3. Through ODA-registered farm markets or farmers' markets.
    4. Through licensed restaurants.
    5. At a recognized festival.

    Can I sell cottage foods on the internet?

    No, cottage foods may not be sold using internet sale methods.

    Can I sell cottage foods across state lines (interstate)?

    No, cottage foods produced in Ohio may only be sold in Ohio from the 5 approved
    locations mentioned above.

    What are the labeling requirements for cottage foods?

    All cottage foods are required to be labeled with the following five items:
    1. Name and address of the 'business' (home).
    2. Name of the food product.
    3. All ingredients of the food product in decreasing order of predominance by weight 
    INCLUDING any of the 7 major food allergens.  The major food allergens are:
    milk, egg, fish (including crustaceans), tree nuts, wheat, peanuts, & soybeans.
    4. Net weight or net volume of the food product.
    5. This statement in ten-point font:  'This Product is Home Produced.'
    These labeling requirements also apply to maple syrup, sorghum, and honey.
    Cottage foods that are not properly labeled are considered adulterated and will be
    embargoed by the Health District.

    Do I have to label the cottage food with nutritional information?

    If a nutritional claim is made (examples, sugar free, diabetic, low fat, or salt free),
    federal labeling requirements must be met.  If no claim is made, you are not required to
    label the product with nutritional information.

    Does a cottage food production operation need a license?

    No, a cottage food production operation is exempt from licensing by the Ohio Department
    of Agriculture and local health district.  You need to complete the Food License Exemption
    Request for the Health District.  Note that all food products are subject to lab sampling &
    inspection by the Department of Agriculture or Health District to determine if a food is
    misbranded or adulterated.

    What is a 'Home Bakery?'

    A Home Bakery is different from a cottage food production operation.  A Home Bakery is a
    home-based business that bakes or processes TCS foods or does not meet the definition
    of a cottage food production operation.  Home Bakeries must register with the Ohio
    Department of Agriculture and are subject to regular inspections.

    How can I contact the Ohio Department of Agriculture?

    If you have questions regarding 'Home Bakeries' or other issues, you may contact the
    Ohio Department of Agriculture at 1-800-282-1955.

    Other questions we have been asked:

    Question:  Am I allowed to 'can' jelly or jam using traditional heating canning methods?
    Answer:  Yes.  Traditional canning methods are acceptable.

    Question:  Can I sell prepackaged ice cream cookies from my home?
    Answer:  No, ice cream cookies are not a cottage food.  They are also a TCS food.

    Question:  Can I make a trail mix at home and sell it at the Fair?
    Answer:  Yes.  This is an approved food and the fair is a recognized festival.

    Question:  Can I bake pumpkin pies and sell them from my home?
    Answer:  No, pumpkin pies are a TCS food.

    Question:  Can I make homemade noodles and sell them at a farmers' market?
    Answer:  Yes, but ONLY if the noodles do NOT contain eggs.

    Please contact the Miami County Health District (937-440-5450, EH@miamicountyhealth.net, or
    http://www.miamicountyhealth.net/) or the Ohio Department of Agriculture with questions regarding Cottage Food.
Cottage Food Fact Sheet
Click on the link above to download a pdf of the Cottage Foods Fact Sheet.

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