The “Colorado Cottage Foods Act” began in 2012 and was amended in 2013. In 2015, two amendments passed (SB 15-085 & HB 15-1102) and went into effect on August 5th, 2015. One amendment increased the sales limit from $5,000 to $10,000 per product, and the other added more allowed foods, including pickles.
Although HB 15-1102 already went into effect, the health department is still creating rules to implement it. Until they do, homemade acidified foods cannot be sold, and they have been holding a series of public meetings to discuss the issue.
The law restricts producers to direct sales only, but no license or permit from the health department is required. 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. This allows producers to sell an unlimited amount of food, as long as they keep creating different products.
Here’s the official list of allowed foods. Jalapenos jellies/preserves, pumpkin butter, and jams/jellies with low sugar are likely not allowed. Whole eggs may only be sold under certain conditions, including a 250 dozen per-month limit.
Once the health department creates rules for the new amendment, some types of acidified foods (like pickled vegetables) will be allowed.
Every cottage food producer 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. You can contact your local health department to learn about the upcoming courses in your area.
Cottage food operations are not required to collect state sales tax, but they may be required to collect local sales taxes. To see if this could apply to you, check out this page and click on “View Local Sales Tax Rates”. Even if your county does require sales tax, you may still get an exemption because you’re selling food that won’t be consumed on your premises. But you need to check with your city and/or county about that.
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 2/12/2016
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.
The address on the label should be the location where the product was made.
Beyond their home kitchen, a producer can also make their products at other private, public, or commercial kitchens.
- Division of Environmental Health and Sustainability
- 4300 Cherry Creek Drive South C-1
Denver, CO 80246