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Connecticut

This state's cottage food law is restricted, so it is not available to everyone!

Connecticut’s law is restricted to farmers who make certain types of canned goods on their farm. If you are not a farmer, you cannot sell homemade food, but a new cottage food law recently passed that will allow some types of homemade food to be sold in the near future.

Farmers can sell jams, jellies, acidified foods (like pickles, salsas, and sauces), and other types of preserves without needing to get their farm’s kitchen inspected. The fruits and vegetables used in products need to be grown on their farm, and sales can only be made from their farm or at certified farmers markets. Although this law is very restricted in most ways, there is no sales limit. Farmers who make acidified foods need to adhere to some other requirements, like taking food safety training and getting their products tested.

Connecticut’s new cottage food bill (HB 5027) was supposed to go into effect on October 1st, 2015, but the bill required the health department to create additional rules before it could be used. As of November 2016, the new rules had been finalized and were waiting for approval. The new cottage food law will allow up to $25,000 of homemade non-PHF baked goods, jams, and jellies (as well as other non-PHFs) to be sold in-person at a variety of in-state venues. You can find recent updates on the regulation page for PR2015-199 and the Facebook page.

Selling

Products may only be sold from your residential farm or at certified farmers markets (allowed in Section 22-6r(7)(b)). “Residential farm” means a farm (as defined in Section 1-1(q)) that is serving as your primary residence.

Allowed Foods

The fruits and vegetables used in your products must be grown on your farm. All products must have a pH value of 4.6 or less.

Acidified foods (like pickles, salsas, and hot sauce) must be tested in a laboratory and approved before they can be sold. Acidified foods are defined in Section 21a-24a(1).

“Other Preserves” means fruit or vegetables preserved whole by cooking with sugar.

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

There is no sales limit

Children and pets must be kept out of the kitchen while you are making acidified foods. Although there are no restrictions when you are making other types of products, keep in mind that some of your customers may have pet allergies.

Business

Food Safety Training

Before you can sell acidified foods, you need to take an approved food safety course, which can either be a Qualified Food Operator class or a Better Process Control School course. If you do not want to sell acidified foods, you do not need to take food safety training.

Call the Food Protection Program at 860-509-7297 to learn about Qualified Food Operator classes; it’s possible that a basic $15 ServSafe food handler course would suffice. Taking a BPCS course would likely be much more lengthy and costly, but it can be a good idea, especially if you are making canned goods that have a higher risk of botulism.

Product Testing

Acidified foods (like pickles, salsas, and hot sauce) must be tested in a laboratory and approved before they can be sold.

Water Source Testing

If you produce acidified foods and your water comes from a private water source, like a private well, you must have it tested to ensure that it’s safe.

These business requirements only apply if you are selling acidified foods.

Labeling

Sample Label

Chocolate Chip Cookies

"Not prepared in a government inspected kitchen" (10-point type)


Forrager Cookie Company

123 Chewy Way, Cookietown, CT 73531


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)


NET WT 2 lb 4 oz (1.02 kg)


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