Rebecca Nielsen, Program Manager
(801) 633-3965 Phone
(801) 359-0213 Fax
New: Cottage Food Operator Memo – August 2021
The number of people who produce foods in their home (cottage foods) has sharply increased in the past several years. The majority of the foods produced in private residences are sold at outdoor markets throughout Utah. We now have more than 400 cottage food facilities in the state. As part of the Department’s commitment to protecting consumer food safety, our inspectors are eager to educate home cooks on the regulatory standards that are in place to protect this fledgling industry.
The Cottage Food statute allows an individual with a valid Food Handlers Permit, to make and/or package shelf stable foods in their own home kitchen, as long as there are no pets in the home that can access that kitchen at any time. (Dogs can often be restricted using child safety gates or similar barriers.)
Cottage Food products can only be sold within the state of Utah, either direct retail sales or through retail outlets when properly labeled.
For more help in planning out a new business, you can go to FRAME: Fundamental Resources for Agricultural Micro-entrepreneurs provided by USU Extension, to read their Guidebooks, particularly the one on Home-Based Food Business.
To get started, please fill out the Application for Cottage Food Establishment with information on your proposed business, and submit it along with the information requested in Section 2 of the form.
Foods that will be sold in prepackaged form need to be submitted with a copy of the label that will be on the package, formatted to print at the size it will be on the package. (A .pdf file works best for electronic submissions.) Farmer’s markets are currently requiring all products to be sold pre-packaged at the market, so labels will likely be required.
If your products will only be sold by special order, or will be packaged to the customer’s order at the point of sale, then you can submit complete ingredient lists (formatted the same as they would be on a label) instead of a full label for each product. One or the other must accompany each recipe. There are instructions for creating each of these in the attachments.
To speed up processing, we ask that you submit no more than ten to twelve products for review initially; additional products can be submitted at a later date, after the business itself has been approved and inspected. Labels and ingredient lists are complex and usually require some learning to do them correctly.
Cottage Food Establishment Information (Home Food Businesses):
- Complete Application Packet
- The complete application packet above contains the following:
- Sample Cottage Honey labels
- Questions & Answers for Farmers Market/Outdoor Market Vendors and Organizers
- USU Home Food Business Guide
Utah Code and Administrative Rules Relating to Cottage Food Production:
- Cottage Food Production Operations (Utah Code Annotated: Title 4, Chapter 5, Section 9.5)
- Inspection and Regulation of Cottage Food Production Operations (R070-560)
- Compliance Procedures (R70-201)