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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) and enabled internet sales within the state.

The current law restricts producers to direct 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.”

Interstate sales are not allowed. Your products may be sold online and shipped/delivered within Colorado.

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

Although your products cannot be sold through stores or restaurants, you can ask the health department about selling directly at those locations, which they may allow on a case-by-case basis.

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.

CSU is also developing a comprehensive online course for those interested in learning about starting a cottage food operation. It satisfies this training requirement, but the course takes 3 weeks and costs $170.

Business License

You should contact your local city and county offices to determine if you need a business license.

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 11/25/2017


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

Contacts
Department
Division of Environmental Health and Sustainability
Email
cdphe_iepu@state.co.us
Telephone
303-692-3645, option 3
Law Dates
March 2012
SB 12-048
April 2013
HB 13-1158
August 2015
SB 15-085
August 2015
HB 15-1102
August 2016
SB 16-058
This page was last updated on

Comments

I’m not understanding why I can’t sell my pepper jelly. So if I was to just use the juice from the peppers I can sell it or is that a no no too. I see so many people selling pepper jelly and wondered how do they do it. I do have the certificate. I’m new at all this and want to do it legally.

I see that alcohol is allowed which I do plan on incorporating into my goods but I was also wondering if THC was allowed to be baked with? I don’t currently live in Colorado but I am planning a big move and am still trying to get adjusted to laws and options. Thank you in advance for any help with this question.

It looks like online sales are now allowed! :)

“Can Cottage Foods be sold on the Internet?
Yes, internet sales are allowed. The mechanism of direct product delivery can be determined between the producer and the informed end consumer as long as it does not involve interstate commerce”

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