The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

3 States Awaiting Governor Signatures on Cottage Food Laws

cookingwithdenay's picture

3 States Awaiting Governor Signatures on Cottage Food Laws

Just an FYI! There are 3 states currently waiting on their Governors to sign and pass their state Cottage Food Laws. The states are Florida, Illinois and Texas (the bills are currently on the Governors' desk). The cottage food law in Washington state should go into effect in late July or early August (it was passed). Bakers are still trying to get support from legislators in California. Keeping your fingers crossed.

Happy Baking !


Mary Clare's picture
Mary Clare

What kinds of things will change if these laws are passed?  Will people be able to sell the baked goods they make in their home kitchens?

cookingwithdenay's picture

The Cottage Food Bill in another bill CS/HB 7009 which did pass and it has gone onto the Governor to sign. Once he signs it the Cottage Food Act it should be effective by July 1, 2011. I cannot copy the law or post it in this forum however you cannot sell baked goods, candy, pastries, or any type of food on the Internet, Mail Order or Wholesale under the Cottage Food Act .  You can advertise your goodies on the internet, newspaper, local advertising, etc. If you want to sell your goodies on the internet than you will have to follow the guidelines and requirements for Food Establishments. The other two states have different requirements; each state is different. Florida has a FaceBook fan page where the law will be posted and questions will be discussed, here's the link:

Use this link to learn more about the Texas "Bakers Law"

Here's info on the IL cottage food bill: Quinn gets bill allowing home-baked goods at farmers markets,0,616578.story

Hope this helps!

ddeising's picture

Has anyone ever noticed that when you hear that people get food poisoning that it ALWAYS comes from "The Big Corporations". I never hear of any small farmer or any small business in the news for food poisoning. The government needs to stop interfering.

Urchina's picture

It's not that people don't get sick from food produced by small producers. These producers usually produce less product than the large corporations, and have more localized distribution. If their food is contaminated and people do get sick, it's usually a small group of people and in a localized area, and often doesn't make the news. 

"Not hearing about it" is not the same as it not happening. 

As for not needing government regulation --- to each their own on that, but our society has collectively decided that we're better served by regulations that provide a baseline standard for food safety. I don't think that cottage food laws are the same as no regulation, and I'll be interested in seeing how they work out in the states that have chosen to pass them. 


cookingwithdenay's picture

I know you all probably already know but it's true!!! Governor Perry signed SB 81 (June 17th), which means Texas bakers will be able to LEGALLY operate from home as of 9/1/11. Here is an article that outlines some of the rules for baking.


Happy Baking!!!

gary.turner's picture

I knew the Texas bill was restrictive; allowing only direct sales to consumers, but didn't realize it was so restrictive as to prohibit the baker from selling direct to consumer from a public venue such as a farmers' market.

The nose is under the tent, at least. Next, we must try to get a bit more of the camel in by removing the public sales venue restriction. I'd also argue that consignment sales to health food stores, gourmet shops, coffee shops, &c. should not be prohibited.

So, celebrate the good news for now, and go to work on expanding our rights come the next legislative session in 2013.



fosterhenry's picture

oooooh cottage food! yummy! best to eat with a bone fire....


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flourgirl51's picture

Does anyone know if the Amish are exempt from cottage food laws? The Amish are moving here in droves and have jumped on the local food bandwagon. They do bake sales out of their homes, sell baked goods on street corners and one family sells out of a horse drawn wagon. They are not producing these baked goods in commercial kitchens or even in kitchens with electricity. I saw one selling "freezer" jam at a market. The jars were not sealed and the jam was warm- not frozen. I commented to the woman about it and she said that it was up to the consumer to take it home and freeze it. It was 90 outside yesterday. My concern is that while many of the non- Amish community has to jump through hoops, meet all sorts of codes and comply with state laws the Amish seem to just breeze by with no one regulating them. If someone gets sick from something that they buy at a market it can give the whole market a bad name. I just think that the laws should be the same for everyone selling baked goods and other foods.

cookingwithdenay's picture

@flourgirl51, no the Amish should not be emempt from cottage food laws. Unfortunately the state of Minnesota does not have a state wide cottage food law allowing food processing for home, however you can sell certain food at local farmers' markets. I have provided a link for more information. Hope this helps.

MNBäcker's picture

I checked the link, and it states you can't sell anything you didn't grow yourself at a Farmers' Market in Minnesota. That's not quite correct. The Minnesota Department of Agriculture states an excemption from licensing:

"2. Individuals who prepare and sell food that is NOT considered a potentially hazardous food at a community event or farmers' market are exempt as long as they meet all of the following requirements (see M.S 28A.15 Sub-division 9).

  • gross receipts cannot exceed $5,000.00 in a calendar year from the prepared food items.
  • seller must post a visible sign stating: "THESE PRODUCTS ARE HOMEMADE AND NOT SUBJECT TO STATE INSPECTION
  • foods must be labeled to include name and address of the person preparing and selling the foods.
  • Examples of foods that are NOT considered a potentially hazardous food and could be sold under this exemption would be jams, jellies, cakes, cookies, fruit pies, breads, maple syrup, lefse etc."

The full information is here:


Stephan in MN


flourgirl51's picture

Thank you for the info but I am already very aware of the laws regarding farmers' markets. For the average person  in MN without a commercial kitchen, the ONLY place that you can sell home baked goods is at a farmers' market and there is the dollar restriction.  According to the laws as they stand it is illegal for my neighbor to come to my home and buy a loaf of bread from me, but that same neighbor can( and does) come to the farmers' market and buy it there.  That makes no sense to me. I also have to make sure all of my baked goods are properly wrapped and labeled and I have to have a canopy at the market. What I was saying is that the Amish here hold bi weekly bake sales in their homes, park themselves on street corners and seem to sell whenever and where ever they please without any restrictions or following any food sales laws here.   Some don't wrap or label their baked goods or use a canopy and many are selling outside of a farmers' market.  It is not fair to the rest of us that are complying with the laws. All it would take is for one person in the area to become ill from improperly processed food to give all locally produced goods a bad name.

MNBäcker's picture

I agree with your above statement about the restrictions on Minnesota's Homebaking businesses. I am in the process of building a WFO in my brickyard to start selling at the local Farmers' Market and did some thorough research before committing to the project. It is somewhat annoying to only be able to sell at a Farmers' Market. While I can see a point for the Sales to a local grocery store or restaurant, why the restriction on door-to-door sales? If I have a list of customers who want to buy my bread, but can't make it out to the FM every week, why should I not be able to set up a route to deliver my breads?

The Minnesota Department of Agriculture does admit bread into a "safe food" category, that's why the kitchen of a Home baker doesn't have to be inspected. A logical next step should be to include door-to-door or even "from your front door" sales into the law. Maybe all it takes is lobbying the right legislator.


Regarding the Amish community and their practice of selling on a more "liberal" schedule: I am sure they are required to follow the same rules as everyone else. But, as long as nobody complains to the appropriate authorities, they probably chose not to get involved. As long as nobody gets sick from ANYBODY'S baked goods or food, I don't think the Health Department has the personnel power or time to force every single baker or FM vendor into compliance (especially if the operate outside the FM's realm).