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cottage food community


A new law (SB 525) went into effect on August 28th, 2014 that allows cottage food operations across the state. Previously, a few counties in Missouri allowed cottage food operations, even though there was no statewide law.

Under this law, individuals can only sell their products directly to consumers, which includes sales from home and at events. They can only sell baked goods, jams, jellies, and dry herbs, which is relatively limited compared to other states. Cottage food operations can sell up to $50,000 of products per year.

Although the law is somewhat limited, it’s a big improvement over the sporadic county ordinances that Missouri’s had in the past.


All sales must be direct (in-person) transactions to the final consumer. Internet sales are specifically prohibited.

Allowed Foods

Most baked goods that do not require refrigeration are allowed.

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


Sales are limited to $50,000 per year


No permit, inspection, or training from the health department is needed, but there may be other local requirements, such as a business license.

A local health department is not allowed to regulate a cottage food operation, but they can investigate a potential foodborne disease or outbreak.


Sample Label

The label must state that the food was not inspected by the state or local health department.

Forrager Cookie Company

123 Chewy Way, Cookietown, MO 73531


Law Dates
August 2014
SB 525
This page was last updated on


What about homemade artisan cheeses? With raw milk, I know you can sell from the farm but not transport for sales purposes. Is it the same with cheeses?

I am in the process of setting up my cookie business in St. Louis County MO however according to the Missouri Dept. Of Health and Senior Services baking cookies out of my home is prohibited. Isn’t that the purpose of the CFO, so that we could work out of our homes? Could you please clarify this for me. Thank you.

    Did they give any explanation? It’s hard for me to clarify without knowing where they’re coming from. But yes, I would say that you should be able to sell homemade cookies due to this law.

Are the prohibited foods such as chocolate for the use in baked goods or for the making and selling of chocolate by itself? I mean who ever heard of brownies without chocolate.

    The “Chocolate” category only refers to straight chocolate you produce as a candy. You can buy chocolate and add it to your baked goods.

Cotton candy is prohibited? I make cotton candy. I was planning on attending a few local events and selling cotton candy as a fundraiser. Is this not allowed? The health department did not say I couldn’t so now I’m confused.

    This law only allows a specific set of foods, and cotton candy isn’t included in the list. However, there should be an exemption for certain types of food if all proceeds go to a cause. There might even be a specific rule for low-risk event foods, like cotton candy. If your health dept is allowing you to sell it, then it should be okay.

    If you used your oven to dry fruit, I’m not sure if it would be considered a “baked good”, as I don’t think that’s what this law was intended for. Ultimately, you need to ask your health dept if you are allowed to make dried produce and see what they say.

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