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Colorado

The “Colorado Cottage Foods Act” began in 2012 and was amended in 2013, 2015, and 2016 (read about the history of the act). 2016’s amendment (SB 16-058) added all non-PHF foods to the approved list, including pickled items.

The current law restricts producers to direct, in-person sales only, but no license from the health department is needed. However, producers must take a training course before they can start selling.

One thing that differentiates Colorado from other states is that rather than limiting overall sales per year, they limit the sales of each product ($10,000 per product/flavor). This allows producers to sell an unlimited amount of food, as long as they keep creating different products.

Selling

A sign must be displayed at the point of sale with this statement: “This product was produced in a home kitchen that is not subject to state licensure or inspection. This product is not intended for resale.”

Although your products cannot be resold, you can assign a “designated representative” to sell on your behalf.

Here is more information about selling.

Allowed Foods

Prohibited Foods

Here is more information about eligible foodsallowed ingredients, and allowed/disallowed canned goods.

Pickled fruits and vegetables must have a finished pH level of 4.6 or below. Whole, fresh peppers cannot be used to make pepper jellies/jams/preserves, but dried spices can be used instead. The health department offers free pH testing as well as information about best practices for producing these items.

Freeze-dried produce is allowed.

Whole eggs may only be sold under certain conditions, including a 250 dozen per-month limit.

Only "non-potentially hazardous" foods are allowed, but certain non-PHFs may not be allowed. Most foods that don't need to be refrigerated (foods without meat, cheese, etc.) are considered non-potentially hazardous. Learn more

Limitations

Limitations
Sales are limited to $10,000 per product
Although the producer can make no more than $10,000 of net revenue per year from a product, product variants are considered different products. For instance, strawberry jelly and grape jelly are two different products.

Business

Food Handler Course

You must take a food handler training course, which can be taken online for $10 – $15 at statefoodsafety.com.

If you would prefer to take a course in-person, the CSU Extension’s Food Safety Works program offers classes around the state which usually cost between $5 and $30. For more information, contact your county extension office or local health department.

Sales Tax

You are not required to collect state sales tax, but you may be required to collect local sales taxes. To see if this could apply to you, check out this page and click on “View Sales Rates and Taxes”, then click on “View Local Sales Tax Rates”. Even if your county does require sales tax, you may still be able to get an exemption because you’re selling food that won’t be consumed on your premises (you need to check with your city and/or county about that).

Here is more information about starting a cottage food business.

Though not required, the health department recommends getting private water systems (like wells) tested once a year.

Labeling

Sample Label

Chocolate Chip Cookies

"This product was produced in a home kitchen that is not subject to state licensure or inspection and that may also process common food allergens such as tree nuts, peanuts, eggs, soy, wheat, milk, fish, and crustacean shellfish. This product is not intended for resale."


Forrager Cookie Company

123 Chewy Way, Cookietown, CO 73531


Phone: (123) 456-7890


Ingredients: enriched flour (wheat flour, malted barley flour, niacin, iron, thiamin mononitrate, riboflavin, folic acid), butter (cream, salt), semi-sweet chocolate (sugar, chocolate, cocoa butter, milkfat, soy lecithin, natural flavors), brown sugar, granulated sugar, eggs, vanilla extract (vanilla bean extract, alcohol, sugar), baking soda, salt (salt, calcium silicate)


Produced on 9/24/2016


In addition to the labeling requirements, a sign must be displayed at the point of sale with this statement: “This product was produced in a home kitchen that is not subject to state licensure or inspection. This product is not intended for resale.”

Alternatively, an email address can be substituted for a phone number on the label.

If a baked good or confection contains alcohol, it is recommended to include “This product contains alcohol” on the label.

Here is more information about packaging and labeling.

Workplace

Beyond your home kitchen, you can also make your products at other private, public, or commercial kitchens.

Resources

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Comments

I might be relocating to Colorado for a job. I have a Managers Food handlers Card I received in Arizona. It is valid in Colorado right? I was told I can take it anywhere. It’s good for 5 years.

    I doubt that an AZ food handlers card would be accepted in CO, but since it’s a manager training course, it might be approved since CO only requires a basic food safety course. You can try contacting the health dept about this, but it might just be easier to pay the $10 – $15 and spend a few hours taking the CO course online.

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