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Ohio

Ohio’s cottage food law does not require any licensing from the ag department, and there is no sales limit, but the law limits producers in other ways. Rather than allowing all direct sales, operations can only sell their items at specific types of venues, which does include a couple indirect (wholesale) channels, like selling to a restaurant. Also, Ohio is very specific about what types of food an operation can make. After being expanded in 2009 and 2016, the allowed foods list is now fairly comprehensive.

Ohio also has a law for home bakeries that want to sell perishable baked goods, like cheesecakes and cream pies.

Selling

The only “retail stores” that can sell your products are grocery stores and restaurants. Restaurants can use your products in their food items.

“Events” must be government-organized festivals or celebrations that do not last longer than seven consecutive days. You cannot sell your products at privately-sponsored events, like craft fairs or flea markets.

In addition to farmers markets, you can sell at farm markets and farm product auctions.

Interstate sales are not allowed, but shipping within the state is allowed.

Allowed Foods

If you want to sell perishable baked goods, you can become a home bakery.

Doughnuts must be baked and unfilled.

Although you cannot dry your own fruits and vegetables, you can incorporate commercially-dried produce into items like soup mixes and granola.

Honey can be flavored, and at least 75% of the honey must come from your own hives.

The only syrups allowed are maple and sorghum syrup. Syrups cannot be sold in stores or restaurants, and at least 75% of the syrup must come from your own trees. You can also produce and sell maple 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

Limitations
There is no sales limit

Your kitchen may only have one oven or double oven.

Business

No license from the ag department is required, but there may be other local requirements, like a business license.

Labeling

Sample Label

Chocolate Chip Cookies

"This product is home produced." (10-point type)


Forrager Cookie Company

123 Chewy Way, Cookietown, OH 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)


If the business name is listed in a local telephone directory, the street address may be omitted or replaced with a PO box.

If a nutritional claim is made on the label, a nutrition facts panel must be included.

Labeling Info & Sample

Labeling Laws (ORC 3715.023)

Resources

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Comments

If entering baked goods into a fair as an exhibitor, can the Fair just go ahead and donate these baked goods to a food kitchen without following the labeling rules? These baked goods are cookies, cake, cupcakes made by 5 year olds and up by regular people in their houses. Our Fair did this without clearly explaining that it would happen. So the majority of what was made was confiscated by the Fair to ‘donate’. They pulled everything out of ziplocs and put all assorted cookies into big Rubbermaid container. They were not individually wrapped or labeled at all.

    I don’t know the exact rules, but there are exemptions when it comes to donated food. My guess is that the fair didn’t do anything wrong, but you can contact the ag dept for more info.

Just wonder about the school (reunion event) where I would sell cupcakes on vendor that don’t need license right?. President (alumni) said ok to me.

Could you tell me what the steps are for the process to obtain a Ohio Cottage Bakery license. Is there an inspection, how do I find the application… Etc?

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