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Mississippi Cottage Food Laws and Regulations: How to sell your homemade foods in Mississippi

Mississippi Cottage Food Laws, Regulations and Facts

Date of the enactment of the Cottage Food Bill: 2013.

Which foods are subject to the Mississippi Cottage Food law?

Allowed foods

The following list of foods is approved for sale by a cottage food operation

  •  Baked goods without cream, custard, or meat fillings, such as breads, biscuits, cookies, pastries, and tortillas.
  • Candy
  • Chocolate-covered nonperishable foods, such as pretzels, nuts, and fruit (except for melons).
  • Dried fruit (except for melons)
  • Dried pasta
  • Dried spices
  • Dry baking mixes
  • Granola, cereal, and trail mixes
  • Dry rubs
  • Fruit pies
  • Jams, jellies, and preserves that comply with the standard described in part 150 of Title 21 of the code of Federal Regulations: wfr=1&subpartnode=21:
  • Nut mixes
  • Popcorn
  • Vinegar and mustard
  • Waffle cones
  • Acidified products which meet the definition as stated in part 114 of Title 21 of the Code of Federal Regulations:

Prohibited foods

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.


  • "private home" This is the place where you live, whether you own the home or are renting. So a house, an apartment, condominium, or a rental home all could be a private home.



Mississippii Sample cottage food labelLabeling requirements

Cottage Food Production 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

  • name and address of the manufacturer/processor preparing the food,
  • common name of the food,
  • name of all the ingredients in the food in descending order of predominance by weight.
  • the net weight of the food in English or metric units.
  • Allergen information as specified by federal labeling requirements
  • If any nutritional claim is made, appropriate nutritional information as specified by federal labeling requirements
  • The following statement printed in at least ten-point type in a color that provides a clear contrast to the background of the label: "Made in a cottage food operation that is not subject to Mississippi's food safety regulations." 

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.

Where may Cottage Food Production Operations sell the food products?

Sales must be directly from the producer to the end consumer.

The producer may sell and advertise their products in person, directly to consumers, from their home, and at venues such as farmers' markets, county fairs, and roadside stands.

Cottage Food Products may not be sold across state lines.  In other words, only be sold within the state. Likewise, Cottage Foods made in other states may not be sold in Mississippi.

The Cottage Food Bill prohibits the sale or offer for sale cottage food products over the Internet (including Facebook and other media), by mail order, or at wholesale or to a retail establishment.

Other requirements

  • Individuals can only sell their products directly to consumers, (that allows sales from home and at events)
  • Cottage food operations can sell up to $20,000 of products per year. ($20,000 in gross annual sales.)
  • A new billHB 410 went into effect on August 28th, 2017, allows onlne sales
  • Cottage foods must be made in a home kitchen and stored in a domestic residence following the safe food handling guidelines outlined in the Retail Food Code to prevent adulteration caused by insects, household chemicals, water damage, unsanitary conditions, and so forth. All storage rooms must be free of insects and rodents, dirt, dampness/water, and other environmental sources of contamination. This includes the home's kitchen as well as the attached rooms within the home that are used exclusively for storage.


Beyond the requirements, common sense, good practices and reducing liability suggests you should do the following.

Testing of pH

​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.

Record-keeping is suggested

Keep a written record of every batch of product made for sale, including:

  • ​Recipe, including procedures and ingredients
  • Amount canned and sold
  • Canning date
  • Sale dates and locations
  • Gross sales receipts
  • Results of any pH test


Although iInspections are not required, you should consider doing the following:

  • ​Use clean equipment that has been effectively sanitized prior to use
  • Clean work surfaces and then sanitize with bleach water before and after use
  • Keep ingredients separate from other unprocessed foods
  • Keep household pets out of the work area
  • Keep walls and floors clean
  • Have adequate lighting
  • Keep window and door screens in good repair to keep insects out
  • Wash hands frequently while working
  • Consider annual testing of water if using a private well

Best Practices

  • Allergans:  Most state home baking acts require an "ingredient statement" and/or an "allergen listing" on the label of the bakery item for sale; but if your state does not, you should anyway. The eight major food allergens are
    • milk,
    • eggs,
    • fish,
    • crustacean shellfish,
    • tree nuts,
    • peanuts,
    • wheat and
    • soybean.
  • Cross-allergenicity: There are also ingredients available, even flours, that can cause a cross-allergenicity. The American Academy of Allergy Asthma & Immunology explains cross-allergenicity as an allergic reaction when proteins in one substance are similar to the proteins found in another substance. For example, consumption of lupine flour may trigger an allergic reaction to peanuts, and cricket flour may trigger an allergic reaction to shellfish. Again, providing such information might be a beneficial marketing tool and help keep potential consumers safe.
  • The 2 Hour/4 Hour Rule -  Anyone wishing to make and sell refrigerated bakery items should remember to follow the "2 Hour/4 Hour Rule." This is a system that can be implemented when potentially hazardous foods are out of temperature control (temperatures greater than 45 degrees Fahrenheit) during preparation, serving or display for sale. The rule guidelines are as follows:
    • If a potentially hazardous food has been out of temperature control for 2 hours or less, then it may continue to be used or be placed back in the refrigerator.
    • If a potentially hazardous food has been out of temperature control for more than 2 hours but less than 4 hours, it needs to be used quickly or discarded.
    • If a potentially hazardous food has been out of temperature control for more than 4 hours, it must be discarded.

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