Cottage Foods Home
California Cottage Food Operations
The California Homemade Food Act was intended to promote local economic development, increase access to healthy foods, promote healthy eating, and support community-based food production.
Approved Cottage Foods
The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) has established a list of currently approved food products that may quality to be produced by CFOs. As of January 1, 2017, the list includes (partial list):
- Baked goods, without cream, custard, or meat fillings
- Candy, such as brittle and toffee.
- Dried fruit.
- Dried pasta.
- Fruit pies, fruit empanadas, and fruit tamales.
- Granola, cereals, and trail mixes.
- Jams, jellies, preserves, and fruit butter that comply with the standard described in Part 150 of Title 21 of the Code of Federal Regulations.
- Nut mixes and nut butters.
- Vinegar and mustard.
- Roasted coffee and dried tea.
- Confections such as salted caramel, fudge, marshmallow bars, chocolate covered marshmallows, nuts, and hard candy, or any combination thereof.
- Dried or Dehydrated vegetables.
- Dried grain mixes.
- Fried or baked donuts and waffles
- Dried hot chocolate powdered mixes or hardened cocoa pieces
- Fruit infused balsamic vinegar (containing only high-acid fruits such as apple, crabapple, nectarine, peach, plum, quince, blackberry,
blueberry, cherry, cranberry, grape, huckleberry, gooseberry, loganberry, pomegranate, pineapple, raspberry, strawberry, tomatillo, youngberry, grapefruit, kumquat, lemon, lime, orange).
Pickled products, acidified foods such as chutneys and salsas, foods containing meat, and any food that requires refrigeration are NOT approved cottage foods in California.
Requirements of California's Cottage Food Law
- PowerPoint of California Cottage Food Law
- Register or get permitted by local Environmental Health agency
- Complete food handler training course
- Limit sales to $50,000/year or less
- Sell only Approved Cottage Foods
- Sanitation and Operating Procedures
- Label Requirements
- Local Requirements
Resources for Cottage Foods Operators
Operating Your Cottage Foods Business - guidance and resources for starting and operating your cottage food operation.
Types of Cottage Foods - Information and handbooks for Cottage Food Production
If you find Cottage Foods to be too restricted, check out our information about Specialty Foods on the UC Small Farm Program website