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Date of the enactment of the law: 2016
Iowa allows Exempted Home Food Operations (commonly called cottage food operations) and Home Bakeries to be subject to reduce regulatory burdens. To sell types of food or quantities that exceed these two categories, the home business must get a regular food establishment license.
Only the following non-potenially hazardous foods:
• Must meet Standard of Identity in 21 CFR Part 150
Neither bakers nor Exempt home food operations may sell:
If your food product does not meet the definition of a Cottage
Food, you may still be able to make and sell it commercially,
through a startup approach.
See this page for detailed information about selling foods that do
not meet the Cottage Food definition.
Home Bakery License - A completed application with appropriate fee must be received by the food inspection agency covering your geographic region at least 30 days prior to the intended opening date. Once the application is received your kitchen must be inspected and approved to operate before production begins.
But the home bakery must have a potentially hazardous food farmers' market license if they sell TCS baked goods at any farmers' market and must also keep a logbook with employee information (30 days)
A license is not required to sell raw, unprocessed produce to restaurants and grocery stores. If the produce is cut, bagged and sealed, or processed in any way, then the firm must be licensed.
Home based bakeries that are also licensed as home food establishments can sell up to $35,000 annually of bakery products on a wholesale basis. If the gross sales of the home bakery are over $35,000 a year, then the firm must be licensed as a food processing plant. The term "baked good" or "bakery product" is limited to the following items per state rule 481-30.1: "breads, cakes, doughnuts, pastries, buns, rolls, cookies, biscuits and pies, except meat pies."
Home Food Establishment License
IIf you want to sell other perishable foods, or want to sell baked goods at other venues than those allowed under the Home Bakery License, you need to get a Home Food Establishment License.
Exempt Home Food Operations (EHFO)
Home-based firms that only sell non-potentially hazardous food (including non-perishable bakery products) on a direct to consumer retail basis are exempt from licensing.
All Operations must label all of their food products properly, which includes specified information on the label of each unit of food product offered or distributed for sale.
All processed packaged foods bear a label stating the
It is recommended that honey manufacturers/processors include this additional statement to their product label: "Honey is not recommended for infants less than twelve (12) months of age".
Here is a free Microsoft Word label template which you can download and edit. These labels are already formatted to fit on Avery Template 22820 Print-to-the-Edge Oval, Labels 2" x 3-1/3", 8 per Sheet, Glossy White. You can get the label stock online (see at right).
Depending on the size of your business, your label must comply with Federal label regulations and with the new nutritional labeling law. You can download a copy of the FDA Food Labeling Guide here it s an illustrated booklet that should answer all your questions. You may see that the sample label does not include a "nutrional panel" (calories, fat, protein, vitamins, etc.) . This is because if you sell (in the U.S. only) fewer than 10,000 units and hire fewer than 10 full-time employees yearly; you do not have to have a nutrition panel on your label, nor file a small business nutritional labeling exemption notice with the FDA.
A Home bakery may sell at farmers' markets, out of the home baker's home, and wholesale to restaurants and grocery stores. Online sales are also acceptable.
Exempt Home Food Operations may sell directly to consumers out of the home for pickup or delivery to the consumer. They may sell at farmers markets. They cannot be sold to restaurants, grocery stores, or other types of retailers, schools or other institutions.
Note: in both cases, farmers market are allowed because they are considered as direct sales to consumer customers.
Beyond the requirements, common sense, good practices and reducing liability suggests you should do the following.
It's best to use a pH meter, properly calibrated on the day
used. I use this one, which is reliable and inexpensive.
And this pH meter is really good, but isn't always available.
Short-range paper pH test strips, commonly known as litmus paper, may be used instead, if the product normally has a pH of 4.0 or lower and the paper's range includes a pH of 4.6.
Keep a written record of every batch of product made for sale, including:
Although iInspections are not required, you should consider doing the following: