The cottage food law in Alaska is actually a really flexible law, with the biggest restriction being that a producer is limited to $25,000 of sales per year. However, no license or permit is required to start selling. Rather than listing specific foods that can be sold, the law allows any food that is non-potentially hazardous, which is measured by the pH value and water activity level of the product. This opens the door to a wide array of foods, though some products need to be tested to ensure they are safe. Alaska allows more cottage foods than any other state, including some that are not allowed anywhere else, like soda and some types of juices. The Municipality of Anchorage has their own ordinance for their food program, so this law may not apply there.
Only direct sales to the consumer are allowed.
The person selling the product needs to know detailed info about the product, including the ingredients used and how the food was prepared.
The product must be made in Alaska.
Any food is allowed as long as it is non-potentially hazardous (meaning it has the right combination of pH value and water activity level). However, certain items require lab testing to determine their pH and/or Aw values. Please see the list of allowed foods for more info on what’s required for specific items.
Home-canned, low-acid vegetables or meats are not allowed. Only berry and rhubarb juices are allowed.
Instead of getting a license, the producer must have detailed info of each product on hand, including the recipe and how it was processed, prepared, and packaged. The producer also needs to know the pH value and water activity level (Aw) for certain items, which would require lab testing, which usually costs about $30 for both values per sample (see this document for more info).
Chocolate Chip Cookies
"THESE PRODUCTS ARE NOT SUBJECT TO STATE INSPECTION"
Forrager Cookie Company
123 Chewy Way, Cookietown, AK 73531
Phone: (123) 456-7890
The label must go on each product, but the statement “THESE PRODUCTS ARE NOT SUBJECT TO STATE INSPECTION” can either be placed on the label or on a prominent placard at the point of sale. However, if making the food in a commercial kitchen, this statement is not necessary.
The name, address, and phone number can be replaced with a business license number.
Cottage food operations are allowed to make their products in a commercial kitchen, as well as their home kitchen.
- Division of Environmental Health - Food Safety and Sanitation Program
- 555 Cordova St.
Anchorage, AK 99501
Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation
- June 2012
- Alaska Food Code