Find a local pick your own farm here!

Looking for Utah Cottage Food Laws and Regulations: How to sell your homemade foods in Utah in 2019?  Scroll down this page and  follow the links. And if you bring home some fruit or vegetables and want to can, freeze, make jam, salsa or pickles, see this page for simple, reliable, illustrated canning, freezing or preserving directions. There are plenty of other related resources, click on the resources dropdown above.

If you have questions or feedback, please let me know! There are affiliate links on this page.  Read our disclosure policy to learn more. 

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

Utah Cottage Food Laws, Regulations and Facts

Date of the enactment: May 2018. HB 181, the Home Consumption and Homemade Food Act. Utah require an application process with specific requirements before selling cottage foods.

 The bill states that food producers are exempt from the usual burdensome food industry "state, county, or city licensing, permitting, certification, inspection, packaging, and labeling requirements"

IF the home processor's food is:

  • produced and sold only within Utah (to avoid interstate commerce issues);
  • sold directly to the consumer and not to a store or restaurant;
  • only for home consumption;
  • free from raw dairy products; and
  • properly labeled to indicate that the food has not been inspected and cannot be resold.

AND

  • the home food processor completes the special licensing, training, approval process, labeling and other requirements (see below)

 

And see this complete checklist

 .

Which foods are subject to the Utah Cottage Food law?

  • Pretty much anf foods that are non-perishable at room temperature.Some examples are
  • Air cooled hard boiled eggs (the shell must be completely intact)
  •  Foods with Aw ≤ 0.85
  • Foods with pH ≤ 4.6
  • Properly canned acid foods
  • Other foods found to be non-hazardous (e.g. bread)
  • Other examples can be some or most (subject to the conditions above):  cookies, fruit pies, jams, jellies, preserves, fruit butters, honey, sorghum, cracked nuts, packaged spices and spice mixes, dry cookie, cake and soup mixes;

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.

Definitions:

  •  "Cottage food production operation" means a person, who in the person's home, produces a food product that is not a potentially hazardous food or a food that requires time/temperature controls for safety.
  • "Home" means a primary residence:
    •  occupied by the individual who is operating a cottage food production operation; and
    • which contains:
      (A) a kitchen designed for common residential usage; and
      (B) appliances designed for common residential usage.

Licensing

The licensing process requires a

  • business license application,
  • fofood handler training,
  •  cottage food product application - The application requires detailed written recipes. Lab testing of the food products may also be required.
  •  To operate a Cottage Kitchen, you must: Pass an initial inspection, and allow inspectors to re-inspect as needed. Register annually as a food establishment. Display your current registration in your kitchen and anywhere you sell directly to the consumer

Approval and Implementation Process

Here is an overview (key word, that - you've got to go read the details!) of the process:

Before you can begin producing food, you must

  1. Demonstrate that your product is not hazardous, including having it tested for safety if needed
  2. Receive approval through UDAF for each product you will make
  3. Contact UDAF to request a Cottage Food Program Application Packet. Email [email protected]
  4. Register your business with your city/county and the Utah Department of Commerce
  5. Then fill out a Cottage Product Application Form for each one of your products.  If possible, use weight instead of volume for your ingredients .  Be specific with temperatures and cooking times
  6. Be ready to provide a sample of each product for testing in case of questions. Samples should be packaged the same way you will package your product for sale. A Process Authority will test your product for safety and compliance. Process recommendations may be made that must be followed for your product to be safe.
  7. R70 560 4. Production Requirements. To begin producing food, you must:. Have a food handler's permit. Use easily cleanable surfaces and equipment. Follow proper sanitation procedures. Have a separate storage area for all ingredients & finished products. Keep samples from each batch for 14 day
  8. While producing food, you cannot : Cook for yourself at the same time. Have any pets in the kitchen (free-roaming pets are never allowed). Allow anyone without a food handler's permit in the kitchen. Make any changes in your recipe without receiving UDAF approval
  9. How to Do This
    1. Contact your local health department to obtain a food handler's permit Online courses are available for many counties  through www.statefoodsafety.com/#utah
    2. Develop a written sanitation plan that is specific to your kitchen How will you clean & sanitize? When will you clean & sanitize? What will you clean & sanitize?
  10. How will you clean & sanitize?. Unscented chlorine bleach - Minimum: 1/3 tsp per gallon water (20 ppm) - Maximum: 1 tbsp per gallon water (200 ppm) - Use test strips to verify concentration - Leave on surfaces for at least 2 minutes. Other sanitizers should be mixed and used following manufacturers instructions - Quaternary Ammonium - Iodophors
  11. When will you clean & sanitize?. Clean surfaces and equipment first, then wipe with sanitizing solution. Sanitize before starting and after finishing production, and once an hour during. Cloths can be stored in sanitizing solution when not being used. Check sanitizing solution once an hour and remix as needed
  12. What will you clean & sanitize?. Check countertops regularly for chips or cracks. Use only non-corrosive cookware - Stainless steel, aluminum, or copper. Utensils should be non-absorbent, free of cracks, and easy to clean - Plastic, stainless, or silicon - Wooden utensils are not allowed Check non-stick & enamel cookware closely before each use.
  13. Washing & Sanitizing Equipment in home kitchens 1. Scrape or wipe into garbage can 2. Wash & rinse in kitchen sink 3. Sanitize in separate tub or container 4. Air dry
  14. Designate one cupboard, pantry, or closet for storing Cottage Food only - Food must be kept 6" off the floor - Food cannot be stored in bathrooms, bedrooms, or garages - Refrigerated and frozen ingredients can be stored in a separate refrigerator in a garage - Samples from each batch are for microbial testing - they cannot be frozen!
  15. Inspections, Registration and Investigations To operate a Cottage Kitchen, you must:. Pass an initial inspection, and allow inspectors to re-inspect as needed. Register annually as a food establishment. Display your current registration in your kitchen and anywhere you sell directly to the consumer
    Contact UDAF to schedule an inspection with your local inspector - You will need to show your food handler's permit and business license - You should have your approved recipes and kitchen sanitation plan available - Be prepared to demonstrate how you will monitor the temperature of refrigerators, finished foods, etc.
  16. After your initial inspection, visit the UDAF website to pay your annual registration fee www.webapp.ag.utah.gov/establishment
  17. Follow the "Basic Labeling Guidelines for Home Produced Food" from UDAF - Labeling regulations are very complex, and vary depending on the type of food - Contact a labeling specialist for specific questions UDAF: Rebecca Nielsen ([email protected]     ) USU Extension: Karin Allen ([email protected] )
  18. Food Distribution and Storage Ingredients should be:. Obtained from sources that are regulated and/or comply with appropriate laws. In good condition and unspoiled. Used by their expiration date, or within 9 months if an expiration date is not given
  19. Finished products should:. Be safe, unadulterated, and honestly presented. Not contain additives that are unapproved or are used at unnecessary levels. Be in packages that are in good condition and will protect the food. Not be displayed on the groundSample Utah Cottage Foods Label

Labeling 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.

 Your product label must include:

  • A standard name (if applicable)
  • Ingredients in descending order by weight
  • A listing of allergens present
  • A declaration of the net weight or content
  • Your business name, address, and phone
  • Nutrition labeling (if applicable)
  • The words: "Home Produced" in 12pt font

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"; and

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.

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). 

 

Where may Cottage Food Production Operations sell the food products?

CoCottage Food Products may not be sold across state lines.  In other words,  only be sold within the state. They may be sold directly to the consumer from the home where the products are produced. They may also be sold through grocery stores, registered farm markets, church bake sales, schools, registered farmers markets, and sold and/or used in preparing food in a restaurant. Sales can be made anywhere within the state (as long as other food establishments don't incorporate the food into their products),

Other requirements

  • a home inspection is required
  • operators must keep a 14-day sample of every batch of food made
  • Individuals can only sell their products directly to consumers, (that allows sales from home and at events)
  • CoCottage food operations can sell up to $50,000 of products per year.
  • A new billHB 410 went into effect on August 28th, 2017, allows onlne sales
  • No limitation on amount of annual sales: Home food operators can sell as much as they want.
  • There may be no no free-roaming indoor pets such as cats or dogs.

Recommendations:

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

Sanitation

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.

More resources:

 

UTAH CODE AND ADMINISTRATIVE RULES RELATING TO COTTAGE FOOD PRODUCTION

Questions? Contact Information:

Rebecca Nielsen, Program Manager
(801) 538-7152 Phone
(801) 633-3965 Cell

Email: [email protected]

 

 USU Food Quality & Entrepreneurship Program

Karin Allen, PhD:

Email: [email protected]  extension.usu.edu/foodbiz

(435)797-1768