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New Jersey

This state does not yet have a cottage food law, so you cannot sell homemade food!

New Jersey does not have a cottage food law, but they have been trying to get one passed since 2009. The same bill (A1244 / S136) moved from one session to the next from 2009 to 2015, and it passed the assembly in later years.

There are many factors that could prevent a bill from passing, but in NJ there is only one: Senator Vitale, the Chairman for the Senate Health Committee. He has been single-handedly preventing bills (that are unanimously passed by the assembly) from being put up for a vote in the senate. Why? Because he does not personally agree with the bills, and he’s stated that his position is unlikely to change in the future.

Despite this, 2016 was a breakout year for cottage foods in New Jersey. Vitale’s solo mission to stop cottage foods in his state has stirred up considerable controversy and media attention. A new cottage food bill (A3618 / S1768) was written, which is more specific and restrictive than the former ones. If passed, it would allow the sale of home-baked goods from home or at events, with a $50,000 annual sales limit. On December 19, 2016, it was passed by the assembly unanimously. Because of the extreme circumstances, the group behind this bill has gotten the Red Tape Review Commission involved to help resolve the issue with Vitale.

For more information, you can check the website, newsletterFacebook page or Twitter feed for updates. To support the progress being made, you can sign this petition.

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Comments

My kids want to put few bake sales around the area to collect money for local charity. So, can we sell home baked goodies and do we need to mention @ food stall that goodies are home baked. Thanks in advance.

Can sell in NJ food products made at home that do not require cooking, such as hot pepper sauce which is made by blending dry powdered pepper with vinegar and other spices?

If I want to teach baking at home as my business, do I need to make my home kitchen a commercial one? Just curious. It’s not technically selling food but just wondering if I still need to convert my kitchen into a commercial one. Thanks!

    You should talk with the health dept about that. My thought is that it wouldn’t matter whether you have a commercial kitchen or not, as long as you’re not giving customers any of the food. A bigger issue might be whether you can run that type of business from a home. Try talking to the dept that manages zoning laws in your area.

Hello would I need a permit or license to sell candy baskets it will be from prepackage candy already bought already made

    You might need a permit, but this would probably be allowed as long as all of the candy is prepackaged and unopened. You should contact the health dept about whether a permit is needed.

Is baking in a commercial kitchen enough to sell what otherwise could be homemade (if we had a cottage food law) in NJ? in stores and online? Are there other legal requirements, e.g. labeling, food handling license, etc.? Cottage food laws in other states give pretty clear guidance on all of these things, but I can’t find information for the requirements for the alternatives in NJ. Thanks!

    The bill itself states the requirements for food handlers license and other details. Please review the bill for more information . No store sales or online just point to point would be permitted. Please check out the website and facebook page for more info.

    Thanks, Elizabeth. But the bill isn’t law yet, is it? I’m looking for guidelines in its absence.

    Baking in a commercial kitchen is a primary requirement, but there are usually other requirements, such as getting a license from the health dept. You should contact the health dept to find out what the process is like in your area.

Hello,
I have a small retail shop in NJ, where I used to sell baked goods (among other things) made by a friend who has a commercial kitchen. I found a baker who lives in PA where a commercial kitchen is not required. Will I be able to sell her baked goods in my shop? Are there any requirements I should be aware of? Thank you.

    I do not think you can sell homemade food in NJ, even if it’s produced in PA, which has a cottage food law. You should contact the ag or health dept to confirm.

I live in NJ and was hoping to sell chocolate on etsy. I buy chocolate wafers that have already been made. The only thing I do with the chocolate is melt it in a microwave. Do I still need to do this in a commercial kitchen when I am not even using a stove? Thank you.

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